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Modernisation of the Hymenoptera: ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies of the early Eocene Okanagan Highlands of western North America

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 January 2018

S. B. Archibald*
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada Museum of Comparative Zoology, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138, United States of America Royal British Columbia Museum, 675 Bellvelle Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 9W2, Canada
Alexandr P. Rasnitsyn
Affiliation:
A.A. Borissiak Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117647, Russia Invertebrate Palaeontology Department, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, United Kingdom
Denis J. Brothers
Affiliation:
School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209, South Africa
Rolf W. Mathewes
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada
*
1Corresponding author (e-mail: sba48@sfu.ca)

Abstract

Most major modern families of Hymenoptera were established in the Mesozoic, but the diversifications within ecologically key trophic guilds and lineages that significantly influence the character of modern terrestrial ecosystems – bees (Apiformes), ants (Formicidae), social Vespidae, parasitoids (Ichneumonidae), and phytophagous Tenthredinoidea – were previously known to occur mostly in the middle to late Eocene. We find these changes earlier, seen here in the early Eocene Okanagan Highlands fossil deposits of western North America. Some of these may have occurred even earlier, but have been obscured by taphonomic processes. We provide an overview of the Okanagan Highlands Hymenoptera to family level and in some cases below that, with a minimum of 25 named families and at least 30 when those tentatively assigned or distinct at family level, but not named are included. Some are poorly known as fossils (Trigonalidae, Siricidae, Peradeniidae, Monomachidae), and some represent the oldest confirmed occurrences (Trigonalidae, Pompilidae, Sphecidae sensu stricto, Peradeniidae, Monomachidae, and possibly Halictidae). Some taxa previously thought to be relictual or extinct by the end of the Cretaceous (Angarosphecidae, Archaeoscoliinae, some Diapriidae) are present and sometimes abundant in the early Eocene. Living relatives of some taxa are now present in different climate regimes or on different continents.

Type
Biodiversity & Evolution
Copyright
© Entomological Society of Canada 2018 

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Footnotes

Subject editor: Michael Sharkey

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