[Taxacom] Mesozoic origins of many insect families (was: ISE...)

Vladimir Blagoderov vblago at gmail.com
Mon Jul 25 04:31:32 CDT 2011

If you take Diptera, number of recent families known from Mesozioc periods:

Triassic: 2
Jurassic: 24
Cretaceous: 36

On the other hand, number of groups considered to be of family rank
last known from the periods:

Triassic: 5
Jurassic: 25
Cretaceous: 12

By mid Cretaceous Diptera fauna consists almost entirely of recent
families; the same is true for most of other insect orders. So there
is a huge faunal turnover in Late Jurassic-early Cretaceous.



Dr Vladimir Blagoderov, FLS
Department of Entomology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London
Tel: +44 (0) 207 942 6629 (office)
Tel: +44 (0) 207 942 6895 (SBIL)
Fax: +44 (0) 207 942 5229

vlab at nhm.ac.uk
vblago at gmail.com

Fungus Gnats Online:

On 25 July 2011 02:36, Kenneth Kinman <kennethkinman at webtv.net> wrote:
> Hi Lars,
>       Well I'm not trying to minimize the importance of
> Cretaceous insect evolution (lots was clearly going on). But on the
> other hand, I want to avoid minimizing the importance (and numbers) of
> modern insect families which originated in the Triassic and Jurassic. I
> find it hard to believe that a "vast majority" of Recent  insect
> families originated in the Cretaceous, and would even be surprised if
> they are a simple majority.  Add the number of extant families arising
> before the Cretaceous to those arising after the Cretaceous, and I bet
> it would exceed the number which arose during the Cretaceous.
>        Hunt et al., 2007 ("A comprehensive phylogeny of
> beetles..." ; Science, 318: 1913-1916) found a very large number of
> modern lineages of beetles having pre-Cretaceous origins). There are
> also many modern families of Diptera that are known from the Jurassic
> (and many of those which are only known back to the Cretaceous will
> probably eventually be found in the Jurassic as well).
>        Anyway, I think it would be more accurate to say that the
> Jurassic and Cretaceous together form "The Second Golden Age" of insect
> evolution (the First Golden Age being the Carboniferous and Permian).
> If I had to choose between them, I would tend to go with the first as
> being THE Golden Age.
>        --------Cheers,
>                           Ken
> --------------------------------------------------
> Lars wrote:
> Dear Ken and John,
> When I used the phrase "Golden Age of Insect Evolution" for the
> Cretaceous I was certainly not referring to the "ordinal diversity" of
> insects but to their "family diversity". As you correctly noted all of
> the insect orders originated before the Cretaceous. However, the vast
> majority of Recent insect "families" (many others are dealt with in the
> subject issue!) originated (i.e. experienced their Golden Age...) in the
> Cretaceous.
> Cheers,
> Lars
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