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Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography

The fossil record of Mesozoic and Tertiary Scarabaeoidea (Coleoptera : Polyphaga)

Invertebrate Taxonomy 14(6) 871 - 905
Published: 2000


Lack of characters, similarity of stem species of adelphotaxa and the necessity to know the extant world fauna of the studied group of fossils are the main difficulties in palaeontology of beetles. The paucity of characters of most of the fossils of supposed Scarabaeoidea prevents their inclusion in a reliable phylogenetic analysis. Only rarely can an autapomorphy of Scarabaeoidea be seen in a fossil classified as a member of this group. Therefore, the classification of Mesozoic and Tertiary fossils is often tentative. Based on a critical literature review of all recorded fossil Scarabaeoidea from the Mesozoic and Tertiary, the minimum age for families and/or subfamilies of this group is determined. An annotated catalogue of named fossils and ichnofossils of Scarabaeoidea and of their lagerstÄtten is given. 238 fossil species and subspecies of this group have been described, of which 27 are doubtful, eight already identified as belonging to other taxa, and two subspecies synonymised with extant taxa. 189 species and 12 ichnospecies probably or reliably belong to the Scarabaeoidea. Nomenclatural acts: Hongscarabaeus, nom. nov. for Proscarabaeus Hong, 1982 (nec Schrank, 1781); Onthophagus urusheeri, nom. nov. for Onthophagus urus Heer, 1847 (nec Ménétries, 1832); Aphodius anteactus, nom. nov. for Aphodius antiquus Heer, 1847 (nec Faldermann, 1835); Aphodius theobaldi, nom. nov. for Aphodius incertus Théobald, 1937 (nec Ballion, 1878); Anomala palaeobrunnea, nom. nov. for Anomala brunnea (Hong, 1985) (nec Klug, 1855); Eophyllocerus scrobiculatus Haupt, 1950 is designated as the type species of Eophyllocerus Haupt, 1950; Cangabola Lengerken, 1955 is a junior synonym of Coprinisphaera Sauer, 1955.

‘Mais en présence des Coléoptères, sauf très rares exeptions, tout spécialiste sérieux ne peut que se récuser’.

R. Jeannel (1942: 191) on fossil faunas.

© CSIRO 2000

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