• tempestites;
  • Zoophycos;
  • Ichnofabrics;
  • Devonian;
  • South China

A Lower Devonian (Emsian) tempestite in the western Yangtze plate, China, was studied based on ichnological and stratigraphical features. The results indicated that the local tempestite can be grouped into clastic constituent types, which include bottom erosion structures, graded beds, swaley cross-stratification (SCS), parallel lamination, bioturbation and the new composition Zoophycos ichnofabrics. Five storm sequences and three Zoophycos ichnofabrics (Zoophycos–Chondrites ichnofabric, Zoophycos–Chondrites–Thalassinoides ichnofabric and Zoophycos–Thalassinoides–Palaeophycus ichnofabric) were discerned. It is demonstrated that the Zoophycos-producers from the complex types of Zoophycos in storm sequences were opportunistic organisms (r-strategists). This study reveals storm-generated physical and biogenic structures and textures and provides a good ichnological method to identify storm deposits. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.