Fossil Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Middle Eocene Kishenehn Formation

John S Lapolla, Dale E Greenwalt

Abstract


A broad range of interesting fossil insects have been discovered recently in Kishenehn Formation shale (middle Eocene, ca. 46 myo) in northwestern Montana, among them a diversity of ant species.  Two hundred forty-nine ant fossils were examined in this study, with 152 them assignable at least to subfamily.  Here, twelve fossil ant species are formally described.  These include a new genus of Dolichoderinae (Ktunaxia, gen. nov.), and the oldest known species from two extant genera: Crematogaster (C. aurora, sp. nov.) and Pseudomyrmex (P. saxulum, sp. nov.).  The Eocene is of particular interest for understanding ant evolution because it is during this period that many present-day speciose and ecologically dominant clades of ants apparently emerged.  In order to understand the evolution of ants, and in particular their march to the terrestrial dominance observed in modern times, it is critical to understand the tempo of ant diversity during the Eocene.  The Kishenehn provides another window into Eocene ant diversity; its relevance to some of the other major Eocene ant fossil deposits is discussed.


Keywords


Cenozoic; Coal Creek; Crematogaster; Extinct; Montana

Full Text:

PDF

References


Archibald, S.B., Greenwood, D.R., & Mathewes, R.W. (2013). Seasonality, montane beta diversity, and Eocene insects: Testing Janzen's dispersal hypothesis in an equable world. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimat. Palaeoecol. 371: 1-8.

Archibald, S.B., Bossert, W. H., Greenwood, D.R., & Farrell, B. D. (2010). Seasonality, the latitudinal gradient of diversity, and Eocene insects. Paleobiology 36: 374-398.

Archibald, S.B., Cover, S.P., & Moreau, C.S. (2006). Bulldog ants of the Eocene Okanagan Highlands and history of the subfamily (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 99(3): 487-523.

Blaimer, B.B. (2012). Acrobat ants go global–Origin, evolution and systematics of the genus Crematogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 65(2): 421-436.

Brady, S.G., Schultz, T.R., Fisher, B.L. & Ward, P.S. (2006). Evaluating alternative hypotheses for the early evolution and diversification of ants. P. Natl. Acad. of Sci. USA 103:18172–77.

Bolton, B. (2014). An online catalog of the ants of the world. Available from http://antcat.org. (accessed 28 January 2015).

Bolton, B. (2003). Synopsis and classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71:1-370.

Carpenter, F.M. (1930). The fossil ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 70(1): 1-66.

Constenius, K.N. (1996). Late Paleogene extensional collapse of the Cordilleran foreland fold and thrust belt. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 108: 20-39.

Constenius, K.N., Dawson, M.R., Pierce, H.G., Walter, R.C., & Wilson, M.V.H. (1989). Reconnaissance paleontologic study of the Kishenehn Formation, northwestern Montana and southeastern British Columbia. In: D.E. French and R.F. Grabb (eds.), 1989 Field Conference Guidebook: Montana Centennial Edition, Vol. 1., 189-203. Geological Resources of Montana.

Dlussky, G.M. & Rasnitsyn, A.P. (2002). Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of formation Green River and some other Middle Eocene deposits of North America. Russ. Entomol. J. 11(4): 411-436.

Dlussky, G.M., Hans-Volker, K., Brauckmann, C., Gröning, E., & Reich, M. (2011). Two ants (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae) from the Late Pliocene of Willershausen, Germany, with a nomenclatural note on the genus Camponotites. Paleont. Z. 85: 449-455.

Emery, C. (1891). Le formiche dell’ambra Siciliana nel Museo Mineralogico dell’Universita di Bologna. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Inst. Bologna 5: 141–165.

Greenwalt, D. E., Rose, T., Siljeström, S., Goreva, Y., Constenius, K., & Wingerath, J. (in press). Taphonomic studies of the fossil insects of the Middle Eocene Kishenehn Formation. Acta Palaeontol. Pol.

Greenwalt, D. & Rust, J. (2014). A new species of Pseudotettigonia Zeuner 1937 (Orthoptera:Tettigoniidae) with an intact stridulatory field and a revision of the subfamily Pseudotettigoniinae. Syst. Entomol. 39: 256-263.

Greenwalt, D., Goreva, Y., Siljeström, S., Rose, T. & Harbach, R.E. (2013). Hemoglobin-derived porphyrins preserved in a Middle Eocene blood-engorged mosquito. P. Natl. Acad. of Sci. USA 110(46):18496-18500.

Greenwalt, D.E., Rose, T.R., Siljeström, S.M., Goreva, Y.S., Constenius, K.N., & Wingerath, J.G. (2015). Taphonomic studies of the fossil insects of the Middle Eocene Kishenehn Formation. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 60: In press.

Huber, M. & Caballero, R. (2011). The early Eocene equable climate problem revisited. Clim. Past Discuss. 7: 603-633.

Huber, J.T. & Greenwalt, D. E. (2011). Compression fossil Mymaridae (Hymenoptera) from Kishenehn oil shales, with description of two new genera and review of Tertiary amber genera. ZooKeys 130: 473-494.

LaPolla, J.S., Dlussky, G.M. & Perrichot, V. (2013). Ants and the fossil record. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 58: 609-630.

LaPolla, J.S., Brady, S.G. & Shattuck, S.O. (2011a). Monograph of Nylanderia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the World: An introduction to the systematics and biology of the genus. Zootaxa 3110: 1-9.

LaPolla, J.S., Hawkes, P.G., & Fisher, B.L. (2011b). Monograph of Nylanderia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the World, Part I: Nylanderia in the Afrotropics. Zootaxa 3110: 10-36.

Pierce, H.G. & Constenius, K.N. (2014).Terrestrial and aquatic mollusks of the Eocene Kishenehn Formation, Middle Fork Flathead River, Montana. Ann. Carnegie Mus. 82: 305-329.

Scudder, S.H. (1877). The first discovered traces of fossil insects in the American Tertiaries. Bull. U.S. Geol. Geogr. Surv. Territ. 3:741-762.

Shockley, F.W., & Greenwalt, D.E. (2013). Ptenidium kishenehnsis, a new fossil described from the Kishenehn oil shales (Coleoptera: Ptiliidae), with a checklist of previously known fossil ptiliids. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash.115: 173-181.

Ward, P.S., Brady, S.G., Fisher, B.L. & Schultz, T.R. (2015). The evolution of myrmicine ants: phylogeny and biogeography of a hyperdiverse ant clade (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Syst. Entomol. 40: 61-81.

Ward, P.S. (1992). Ants of the genus Pseudomyrmex (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Dominican amber, with a synopsis of the extant Antillean species. Psyche 99(1): 55-85.

Wilson, E.O. (1985). Ants from the Cretaceous and Eocene amber of North America. Psyche 92(2-3): 205-216.

Wolfe, J.A. (1995). Paleoclimatic estimates from Tertiary leaf assemblages. Annu. Rev. Earth Pl. Sc. 23: 119-142.

Zachos, J., Pagani, M., Sloan, L., Thomas, E., & Billups, K. (2001). Trends, rhythms and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present. Science 292: 686-693.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v62i2.163-174

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.