The Cheiruridae are a diverse group of trilobites and several subfamilies within the clade have been the focus of recent phylogenetic studies. This paper focuses on the relationships of one of those subfamilies, the Ordovician Eccoptochilinae. We analyze sixteen species from six genera within the traditionally defined group, using the pilekiid Anacheirurus frederici as an outgroup. To assess the monophyly of the Eccoptochilinae seven sphaerexochine species, Kawina arnoldi, Sphaerexochus arenosus, S. atacius, S. latifrons, S. mirus, S. parvus, and S. scabridus were included in the analysis as well. The results of this analysis show that the genus Eccoptochile represents a paraphyletic grade and species traditionally assigned to Parasphaerexochus and Skelipyx plot within Pseudosphaerexochus. Also, representative species of Sphaerexochinae plot within the traditionally defined Eccoptochilinae, suggesting Eccoptochilinae itself is paraphyletic. To resolve this, we propose all species of Pseudosphaerexochus be placed within Sphaerexochinae and Eccoptochilinae be restricted to a monotypic Eccoptochile clavigera.
Gapp, I. W., Congreve, C. R., & Lieberman, B. S. (2012). Unraveling the Phylogenetic Relationships of the Eccoptochilinae, an Enigmatic Array of Ordovician Cheirurid Trilobites. PLoS ONE, 7(11). http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0049115
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