Skip to main content

Environmental Implications of a Beetle Assemblage from the Gervais Formation (Early Wisconsinan?), Minnesota

  • Allan C. Ashworth

The Gervais Formation of northwestern Minnesota is the oldest known Quaternary stratigraphic unit in the Red River Valley. Wood from the fossiliferous silt and peat member is > 46,900 yr old. The age of the unit is uncertain but may be early Wisconsinan. A well-preserved beetle assemblage consisting of extant species is described from the fossiliferous horizon. Presently, most of the species are widely distributed and occur in Minnesota. The remainder have restricted northern distributions. Included in this group is the weevil Vitavitus thulius, known only from two localities in Northwest Territories. The sedimentary environment indicated by the beetles was a small lake, rich in aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation. The margins were characterized by open areas and spruce woodland. Species with arctic-alpine distributions indicate a cold environment, but whether it was regional or local in extent could not be determined. If regional, a climate similar to that of the tundra-forest transition zone is postulated with mean July temperatures in the range 11° to 14°C. If the cold environment was restricted, however, the climate may have been similar to that of the Lake Superior region with a mean July temperature of 17°C.

Hide All
Ashworth, A.C., (1977). A late Wisconsinan coleopterous assemblage from southern Ontario and its environmental significance. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 14 1625 1634
Ashworth, A.C., (1979). Quaternary Coleoptera studies in North America: Past and present. Ball, G.E. Erwin, T.F. Halpern, A. Carabid Beetles: Their Evolution, Natural History and Classification. W. Junk The Hague 395 406
Ball, G.E., (1966). A revision of the North American species of the subgenus Cryobius Chaudoir (Pterostichus, Carabidae, Coleoptera). Opuscula Entomologica Supplementum 28 1 166
Coope, G.R., (1959). A Late Pleistocene insect fauna from Chelford, Cheshire. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 151 70 86
Coope, G.R., (1967). The value of Quaternary insect faunas in the interpretation of ancient ecology and climate. Cushing, E.J. Wright, H.E. Quaternary Paleoecology. Yale Univ. Press New Haven 359 380
Coope, G.R., (1977). Quaternary Coleoptera as aids in the interpretation of environmental history. Shotton, F.W. British Quaternary Studies Recent Advances. Clarendon Press Oxford 55 68
Darlington, P.J. Jr. (1938). The American Patrobini (Coleoptera, Carabidae). Entomologica Americana 48 4 135 183
Darlington, P.J. Jr. (1943). Carabidae of mountains and islands: Data on the evolution of isolated faunas and atrophy of wings. Ecological Monographs 13 37 61
Harris, K.L. Moran, S.R. Clayton, Lee, (1974). Late Quaternary stratigraphic nomenclature Red River Valley, North Dakota and Minnesota. North Dakota Geological Survey, Miscellaneous Series 52 1 47
Karrow, P.F., (1967). Pleistocene Geology of the Scarborough Area. Ontario Department of Mines Geological Report 46 1 108
Kissinger, D.G., (1973). A new weevil genus from America north of the Arctic Circle and notes of fossils from Pliocene and Pleistocene sediments (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 27 193 200
Lindroth, C.H., (1953). Influence of Pleistocene climate changes on the insect fauna of northern Europe. Transactions of the IXth International Congress of Entomology 2 145 153
Lindroth, C.H., (1961). The ground-beetles of Canada and Alaska, 2. Opuscula Entomologica Supplementum 20 1 200
Lindroth, C.H., (1963). The ground-beetles of Canada and Alaska, 3. Opuscula Entomologica Supplementum 24 201 408
Lindroth, C.H., (1963). The fauna history of New-foundland. Opuscula Entomologica Supplementum 23 1 112
Lindroth, C.H., (1966). The ground-beetles of Canada and Alaska, 6. Opuscula Entomologica Supplementum 34 945 1192
Marx, E.J.F., (1957). A review of the subgenus Donacia in the Western Hemisphere (Coleoptera, Donaciidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 112 191 278
Matthews, J.V. Jr. (1974). Quaternary environments at Cape Deceit (Seward Peninsula, Alaska): Evolution of a tundra ecosystem. Geological Society of America Bulletin 85 1353 1384
Matthews, J.R. Jr. (1975). Insects and plant macrofossils from two Quaternary exposures in the Old Crow-Porcupine region, Yukon Territory, Canada. Arctic and Alpine Research 7 249 259
Matthews, J.V. Jr. (1976). Coleoptera fossils: Their potential value for dating and correlation of late Cenozoic sediments. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 14 2339 2347
Moran, S.R. Arndt, M. Bluemle, J.P. Camara, M. Clayton, L. Fenton, M.M. Harris, K.L. Hobbs, H.C. Keatinge, R. Sackreiter, D.K. Salomen, N.L. Teller, J., (1976). Quaternary stratigraphy and history of North Dakota, southern Manitoba, and northwestern Minnesota. Mahaney, W.C. Quaternary Stratigraphy of North America. Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross Stroudsberg 133 158
Morgan, A., (1972). The fossil occurrence of Helophorus arcticus Brown (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) in Pleistocene deposits of the Scarborough Bluffs, Ontario. Canadian Journal of Zoology 50 555 558
Morgan, A.V. Morgan, A., (1979). The fossil Coleoptera of the Two Creeks Forest Bed, Wisconsin. Quaternary Research 12 226 240
Perkins, P.D., (1975). Biosystematics of Western Hemisphere Hydraenine Aquatic Beetles (Coleoptera: Hydraenidae). Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation University of Maryland College Park
Prest, V.K. Terasme, J. Matthews, J.V. Jr. Lichti-Federovich, S., (1976). Late-Quaternary history of Magdalen Islands, Quebec. Maritime Sediments 12 39 59
Rosendahl, C.O., (1948). A contribution to the knowledge of the Pleistocene flora of Minnesota. Ecology 29 284 315
Schwert, D.P. Morgan, A.V., (1980). Paleoenvironmental implications of a late-glacial insect assemblage from northwestern New York. Quaternary Research 13 93 110
Scudder, S.H., (1877). Description of two species of Carabidae found in the interglacial deposits of Scarboro' Heights, near Toronto, Canada. United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories (Hayden) B3 763 764
Scudder, S.H., (1886). The operations of a prehistoric beetle. Canadian Entomologist 18 194 196
Scudder, S.H., (1890). Tertiary insects of North America. United States Geological Survey of the Territories (Hayden) 13 1 663
Scudder, S.H., (1894). The effect of glaciation and of the glacial periods on the present fauna of North America. American Journal of Science 48 179 187
Scudder, S.H., (1895). The Coleoptera hitherto found fossil in Canada. Geological Survey of Canada Contributions to Canadian Paleontology 2 27 56
Scudder, S.H., (1900). Additions to the coleopterous fauna of the interglacial clays of the Toronto district. Geological Survey of Canada Contributions to Canadian Paleontology 2 67 92
Soper, J.H. Maycock, P.F., (1963). A community of arctic-alpine plants on the east shore of Lake Superior. Canadian Journal of Botany 41 183 198
Wickham, H.F., (1917). Some fossil beetles from the Sangamon peat, Champaign Co., 111. American Journal of Science (4th Series) 44 137 145
Wood, S.L., (1954). Bark beetles of the Genus Carphoborus Eichoff (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in North America. The Canadian Entomologist 86 502 526
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed