- The Paleontological Society
Spinous oniscomorph millipedes are rare faunal components of the upper Palaeozoic (Shear, 1997). Amynilyspes (type species A. wortheni Scudder, 1882; OD) is an Upper Carboniferous spinous oniscomorph (pill millipede) which was first described from the Middle Pennsylvanian (Westphalian D equivalent) Fossil-Lagerstätte of Mazon Creek. Later Fritsch (1899) described two species (A. typicus and A. crescens) from the Wesphalian D Gaskohle of Nýřany in Bohemia. More recently A. typicus was recorded from the Stephanian B of the Saarland (Förster, 1973), then from the Stephanian B of the Blanzy-Montceau-les-Mines Basin (Langiaux and Sotty, 1977; Poplin, 1994). Although myriapods were already known to occur in the Montceau-les-Mines Lagerstätte (Langiaux and Sotty, 1976; Rolfe et al., 1982; Poplin and Heyler, 1994) the presence of Amynilyspes at Montceau-les-Mines was first published in a regional publication (“La Physiophile” Langiaux and Sotty, 1976, 1977), and it has passed almost unnoticed.
Representatives of the genus Amynilyspes are a minor faunal component of Upper Carboniferous faunal assemblages. Hannibal and Feldmann (1981) published a revision of the oniscomorph millipedes from the Carboniferous of North America, including the type specimen of Amynilyspes wortheni Scudder, 1882 and newly collected specimens. Specimens of the genus Amynilyspes subsequently have been illustrated and discussed in various works (Hannibal, 1984, 1997; Shear, 1997). At Mazon Creek Hannibal and Feldmann (1981) listed 10 specimens of A. wortheni, plus an undetermined number of specimens in private collections. The percentages of the whole millipede fauna (excluding arthropleurids) are 0.1 percent in the Braidwood (nonmarine, freshwater) biofacies and 0.014 percent in the Essex (marine) environment (Baird and Anderson, 1997). A survey of fossil millipedes in the collections of the Field Museum of Natural History by one of us (JTH) in 1997 showed that oniscomorphs (mainly Amynilyspes) comprise about 11 percent (24 …