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Paleobiology of beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera) from Western European Cretaceous ambers


The whole assemblage of beetles in the Cretaceous ambers of Western Europe (Spain and France) is surveyed for the first time (Peris et al., 2016). Spanish amber (upper Albian in age) has 149 specimens of 30 families while French amber (upper Albian–Santonian in age) has 65 specimens of 16 families (Table 1). Only five families are shared by both ambers: Caridae (Fig. 3E), Ptinidae, Scraptiidae (Fig. 6C), Staphylinidae, and Trogossitidae; thus totaling 41 different families identified, mainly into Polyphaga (Table 1). This low number of shared families is surprising, considering the paleogeographic and temporal proximilty of both areas (Figs. 1-2). The sligthly ancient origin for the Spanish amber, the paleogeography (including some barriers for terrestrial biota) and the local paleohabitats are factors that may explain the dissimilarity with the French specimens.The Spanish and French ambers clearly contain, up today, the oldest representatives of the Polyphagan families: Bostrichidae (Fig. 3C), Elmidae, Eucinetidae (Fig. 4A), Histeridae (Fig. 4B), Jacobsoniidae (Fig. 4C), Leiodidae, Limnichidae (Fig. 4E), Nosodendridae (Fig. 5C), Oedemeridae, Omethidae (Fig. 5D), Phalacridae (Fig. 5E), Ripiphoridae (Fig. 6A), and Tetratomidae (Fig. 6F). Furthermore, the records for the families Bostrichidae, Elmidae, Limnichidae, Nosodendridae, Omethidae and Phalacridae are the sole record for the whole Mesozoic (Peris, 2015). This means that all these families already existed at least in the late Early Cretaceous and have persisted until now. Blakey, R.C. 2011. Global paleogeographic views of earth history: Late Precambrian to Recent. Bouchard, P., Bousquet, Y., Davies, A.E., Alonso-Zarazaga, M.A., Lawrence, J.F., Lyal, C.H., Newton, A.F., Reid, C.A.M., Schmitt, M., Ślipiński, S.A., Smith, A.B.T. 2011. Family group names in Coleoptera (Insecta). Zookeys 88, 1–972. Cohen, K.M., Finney, S.C., Gibbard, P.L., Fan, J.-X. 2013 . The ICS International Chronostratigraphic Chart. Episodes 36, 199–204. The involvement of beetles in high resin production during the Cretaceous has been reconsidered after the low presence of wood-borer families in these and other Cretaceous ambers from the Tethyan realm. By contrast, most families identified currently maintain a saproxylic or detritivorous life style (Table 1). Therefore, this release of resin was influenced by other causes such as wildfires, storms or some other biological effect (Peris et al., 2016).


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insu-01312762 , version 1 (09-05-2016)


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David Peris, Enrico Ruzzier, Vincent Perrichot, Enrique Penalver, Xavier Delclos. Paleobiology of beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera) from Western European Cretaceous ambers. 7th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FOSSIL INSECTS, ARTHROPODS AND AMBER, Apr 2016, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. 2016. ⟨insu-01312762⟩
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