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Psyche
Volume 2012, Article ID 242563, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/242563
Research Article

Mesozoic Coleopteran Faunas from Argentina: Geological Context, Diversity, Taphonomic Observations, and Comparison with Other Fossil Insect Records

1Entomología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales y Agrimensura, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste and Área Paleontología, Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral (CONICET), Casilla de Correo 128, 3400 Corrientes, Argentina
2Micropaleontología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales y Agrimensura, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste and Área Paleontología, Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral (CONICET), Casilla de Correo 128, 3400 Corrientes, Argentina
3Área Paleontología, Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral (CONICET), Casilla de Correo 128, 3400 Corrientes, Argentina

Received 2 October 2011; Revised 30 November 2011; Accepted 14 December 2011

Academic Editor: Ai-Ping Liang

Copyright © 2012 María Belén Lara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The order Coleoptera is the most diversified group of the Class Insecta and is the largest group of the Animal Kingdom. This contribution reviews the Mesozoic insects and especially the coleopteran records from Argentina, based on bibliographical and unpublished materials (86 described species, 526 collected specimens). The material came from different geological units from the late Middle Triassic to the Late Triassic (Bermejo, Cuyo, and Malargüe basins) to the Middle-Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous (Deseado Massif, Cañadón Asfalto, and San Luís Basin). The coleopteran record is composed of 29 described species with 262 collected specimens (isolated elytra) mainly represented by Triassic species and only four specimens recorded in Jurassic units, all of them currently unpublished. These fossil coleopterans provide fundamental information about the evolution of insects in the Southern Hemisphere and confirm the Triassic Argentinean insect deposits to be among the most important in the world.