MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Beyond Coprinisphaera : fossil nests of dung beetles
SÁNCHEZ, M. VICTORIA; BELLOSI, EDUARDO S.; CANTIL, LILIANA F.; GENISE, JORGE F.
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2018 vol. 51 p. 444 - 444
Forty-two remains of fossil nests of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae), which were recorded in four formations of the Cenozoic of SouthAmerica, are described herein for the first time. Most of them are represented by nesting chambers containing a fossil brood ball (Coprinisphaera). However, inthe most remarkable cases, parts of the burrows constructed by the parents and/or the vertical emergence burrows constructed by the offspring are preserved too. The preservation of the dung beetle nests is very unusual but more recurrent in younger formations probably because of the short-term action of the diagenetic processes. Considering that the construction of brood balls always involves the construction of nests, the ichnotaxonomical proposal is that the remains of fossil nests should be considered as ?structures associated with Coprinisphaera? and added to the diagnosis to avoid the proliferation of names. The study of the fossil nests provides new palaeoetological inferences for dung beetles, such as the Nesting Pattern of the trace makers of Coprinisphaera tonnii and Coprinisphaera akatanka, and how phylogenetically related were they with the extant necrophagous species of the genera Coprophanaeus and Canthon, respectively. Additionally, the fossil evidence suggests that simple nests of dung beetles predate compound nests.