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A remarkable fossil plant assemblage from the lowermost Oligocene Haselbach horizon (GrÖbers Member, BÖhlen Formation) was excavated at the Vereinigtes Schleenhain opencast mine (northwestern Saxony, Germany) and is described herein. The lower unit of the Haselbach horizon represents abandoned channel deposits that contain masses of Zingiberoideophyllum liblarense leaves. Species identification of the leaves is based on morphological characters and micromorphological features of the cuticle. Other plant organs of the previously described whole plant Spirematospermum wetzleri-Zingiberoideophyllum liblarense, such as fruits, seeds, rhizomes, and rootlets, were also observed on associated bedding planes, which supports this whole-plant reconstruction. The other megafossil remains in this taphocoenosis, mostly leaves, are identified taxonomically and interpreted as being derived from a mixed softwood and hardwood riparian forest of Acer haselbachense, Apocynophyllum neriifolium, Carpinus grandis, Engelhardia orsbergensis, Populus germanica, Rosa lignitum, Taxodium dubium, and from a Nyssa-Taxodium swamp. Based on the plant taphonomy and the paleoecology of the plants, this plant assemblage was likely deposited in still water and therefore mainly parautochthonous. Vertical changes in the composition of the plant assemblage, in particular the disappearance of the Zingiberoideophyllum liblarence leaves, are attributed to changes in habitat, such as alterations in the soil substrate and/or rising water levels. Taphonomic and paleophytosociological aspects of the assemblage confirm the previously published autecological reconstruction of the Spirematospermum wetzleri-Zingiberoideophyllum liblarense whole plant as an aquatic subshrub growing in shallow standing water, most likely in monotypic dense stands or in association with the Apocynophyllum neriifolium-Microdiptera whole plant. Nomenclatural and taxonomic problems of the family assignment of Zingiberoideophyllum liblarense are discussed briefly. The presence of transverse veins, also called cross veins, suggests an assignment to Zingiberaceae and excludes it from Musaceae. © 2012 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

Klass K.-D.,Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden | Matushkina N.A.,Taras Shevchenko National University
Arthropod Structure and Development | Year: 2012

The exoskeleton of the female genitalic region (abdominal venters 7-9) in Petrobiellus takunagae (Machilidae-Petrobiellinae) is studied using light microscopy and SEM. Sclerites are distinguished from membrane by the degree of cuticular flexibility. However, the microsculpture of the cuticle is shown to be useful in characterising the heterogeneity of the cuticle and in detecting weak sclerotisations. The morphology of Petrobiellus is compared with that in Trigoniophthalmus alternatus (Machilidae-Machilinae) described previously. While venter 7 is similar, venters 8 and 9 show many differences in the presence/absence or fusion/separation of particular sclerites. This suggests female genitalic morphology to be a valuable character system for phylogenetic and taxonomic work in Archaeognatha. Comparison with other insect orders is aimed at detecting homologous structures and conditions. Important points are: (1) Petrobiellus has a sclerotised genital lobe posteriorly on venter 7, similar to Zygentoma and Dictyoptera; it bears the gonopore. (2) Petrobiellus has a posterior sclerite on venter 9 that is very similar to a sclerite of Odonata. (3) The morphology of the coxal lobes of venter 9 (gonoplacs) suggests their function as a sheath of the ovipositor. From female genitalic morphology we deduce the process of oviposition, describing an external egg transportation tract. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Kunzmann L.,Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Year: 2014

Pseudotsuga is an accessory element in the Neogene vegetation in Central Europe. Two species based on coalified seed cones and one species each based on leaves and wood have been described so far from Miocene and Pliocene localities, mainly in Germany. Based on a new seed cone record from the site of Wiesa in Germany, I describe here evidence supporting the extension of the stratigraphic range of Pseudotsuga jechorekiae Czaja, including the late early Miocene. An emended diagnosis is given and a neotype is proposed for the Pliocene Pseudotsuga loehrii comb. nov. The leaf record is revisited and critically evaluated as leaf cuticles previously determined as "Pseudotsuga oceanines" are reinterpreted herein as Tsuga or Nothotsuga. Subsequently, the late Oligocene presence of the genus in Central Europe exclusively based on "Pseudotsuga oceanines" remains doubtful. The fossil cone species are morphologically compared to the extant species, with the highest conformity found to the Asian species. Finally, palaeophytosociological, palaeoautecological and palaeoclimatic aspects of the fossil species are compiled. © 2014 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Kehlmaier C.,Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Lampromyia bellasiciliae sp. n. is described from Sicily, Italy. The new species belongs to the pallida subgroup and is differentiated from related taxa in a dichotomous identification key. DNA barcodes for eight of the currently recognised ten Palaearctic species of Lampromyia are provided, and the calculated genetic distances between the taxa and species groups/subgroups are discussed. New distributional data for additional species of Lampromyia are presented and the occurrence of the Palaearctic taxa is depicted in a distribution map. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press

Marrone F.,University of Palermo | Lo Brutto S.,University of Palermo | Hundsdoerfer A.K.,Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden | Arculeo M.,University of Palermo
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

Our comprehension of the phylogeny and diversity of most inland-water crustaceans is currently hampered by their pronounced morphological bradytely, which contributed to the affirmation of the "Cosmopolitanism Paradigm" of freshwater taxa. However, growing evidence of the existence of cryptic diversity and molecular regionalism is available for calanoid copepods, thus stressing the need for careful morphological and molecular studies in order to soundly investigate the systematics, diversity and distribution patterns of the group. Diaptomid copepods were here chosen as model taxa, and the morphological and molecular diversity of the species belonging to the west-Mediterranean diaptomid subgenus Occidodiaptomus were investigated with the aim of comparing the patterns of morphological and molecular evolution in freshwater copepods. Three species currently lumped under the binomen Hemidiaptomus (Occidodiaptomus) ingens and two highly divergent clades within H. (O.) roubaui were distinguished, thus showing an apparent discordance between the molecular distances recorded and Occidodiaptomus morphological homogeneity, and highlighting a noteworthy decoupling between the morphological and molecular diversity in the subgenus. Current Occidodiaptomus diversity pattern is ascribed to a combined effect of ancient vicariance and recent dispersal events. It is stressed that the lack of sound calibration points for the molecular clock makes it difficult to soundly temporally frame the diversification events of interest in the taxon studied, and thus to asses the role of morphological bradytely and of accelerated molecular evolutionary rates in shaping the current diversity of the group. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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