A description is provided for Wolfestheria smekali gen. and sp. nov., a new member of the family Fushunograptidae, from the “Estancia La Sin Rumbo” locality in the Puesto Almada Member of the Cañadón Asfalto Formation. Assignment to the family Fushunograptidae is supported by evidence from detailed scanning electron microscope studies of this species. An assessment of the complex carapace ornamentation is also provided, as W. smekali exhibits an array of ornamentations that cover the entire carapace surface. These consist of irregular, thick radial lirae with numerous thin cross-bars on the dorsal middle-upper third of the carapace, changing to straight, thick radial lirae with fewer cross-bars restricted to the upper half of the growth band in the ventral third of the carapace, with the interspaces between the radial lirae wider than the lirae themselves, and with the radial lirae terminating in the upper part of the growth bands, where they then enlarge to form a triangular shape upon contact with the following growth line. These characteristics allow us to compare W. smekali with the eosestheriid genera Yanjiestheria Chen and Abrestheria Wang, as well as with the other fushunograptids from the Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous of China such as Cratostracus Huang and Qinghaiestheria Wang. W. smekali is also comparable to fushunograptids and related forms from the Jurassic system of Argentina. The occurrence of W. smekali correlates biostratigraphically with the “Eosestheriopsis dianzhongensis fauna” of China, as well as with other Jurassic faunas from Africa and Europe. This correlation supports a Late Jurassic age for these fossiliferous assemblages (Puesto Almada Member, Cañadón Asfalto Formation) from the province of Chubut, Argentina.
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Vol. 50 • No. 4