Conference Paper

The insect Konservat-Lagerstatte of the Upper Carboniferous of Avion (France) : an exceptional geoheritage

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Abstract

The spoil tips (“terrils”) of coal mines are very visible components of the landscape of the ‘Hauts-de-France’ region in France. Some are protected for the particular flora and fauna that colonize them. They are also very important for their palaeontological contents. In UK, some spoil tips have been extensively investigated thanks to active collaborations between searchers and amateur associations (e.g. Writhlington, Jarzembowski, 2004). Similar operations never happened in France. Nevertheless, thanks to the active researches of two of us (JO and PR), we could recover and study a fossil entomofauna of crucial interest. Insects (mainly isolated wings) were recovered in pieces of rocks from a layer with an impressive concentration of plant fragments (leaves, stems, etc.). If some are very large, the great majority is less than 10 mm long. Between 2010 and 2019, we found representatives of Palaeodictyoptera, Odonatoptera, Archaeorthoptera (incl. oldest Titanoptera), Paoliida, Dictyoptera, stem group of Plecoptera, ‘Grylloblattodea’, Acercaria, and Holometabola (Nel et al., 2013) on a terril (spoil tip) in Avion locality, with coal mine debris attributed to Moscovian age. Fossils of these two last clades are very small wings, 2-5 mm long and the oldest representatives of the Psocodea, Thripida, Hemiptera, stem group Hymenoptera, Mecopterida, and possibly Neuropterida. These subclades are all represented by one fossil, except for the Hemiptera known by two Euhemiptera and the oldest fossil Sternorrhyncha, newly discovered. Thus they are much less frequent than the other palaeopteran and polyneopteran clades. These fossils are crucial for dating the major insect clades. They also demonstrate that the Holometabola appeared and began to diversify into their modern subclades well before their major Triassic radiation.

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SYNTHESIS OF PARTS 11-20 OF THE ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS TO LIENHARD & SMITHERS, 2002: "PSOCOPTERA (INSECTA) – WORLD CATALOGUE AND BIBLIOGRAPHY". Since the volume Psocoptera (Insecta) – World Catalogue and Bibliography was published by the Geneva Natural History Museum in 2002, twenty supplementary papers of additions and corrections have appeared in Psocid News. All available literature on Psocoptera was treated in the same style as the Catalogue (listed taxonomically, faunistically and thematically). For ease of use a synthesis of the first ten supplements was published as Special Issue 3 of Psocid News. The present compilation offers a synthesis of the supplements 11 to 20 (published annually between 2012 and 2021 in Psocid News No. 14-23) and it contains a complement to the Subject Bibliography published in Psocid News Special Issue 2, i. e. a synthesis of the annual subject bibliographies published in Psocid News No. 19-23. See: http://hdl.handle.net/2115/35519
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The Sternorrhyncha, which comprise about 18,700 described recent species, is a suborder of the Hemiptera, one of big five most diverse insect orders. In the modern fauna, these tiny phytophages comprise insects of great ecological and economic importance, like aphids (Aphidomorpha), scale insects (Coccidomorpha), whiteflies (Aleyrodomorpha) and psyllids (Psylloidea). Their evolutionary history can be traced back to the Late Carboniferous, but the early stages of their evolution and diversification is poorly understood, with two known extinct groups—Pincombeomorpha and Naibiomorpha variously placed in classifications and relationships hypotheses. Most of the recent Sternorrhyncha groups radiated rapidly during the Cretaceous. Here we report the new finding of very specialised sternorrhynchans found as inclusions in mid-Cretaceous amber from Kachin state (northern Myanmar), which represent another extinct lineage within this hemipteran suborder. These fossils, proposed to be placed in a new infraorder, are revealed to be related to whiteflies and psyllids. We present, also for the first time, the results of phylogenetic analyses covering extinct and extant lineages of the Sternorrhyncha.
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