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Morphology, classification, and antiquity of Melittosphex burmensis (Apoidea, Melittosphecidae) and implications for early bee evolution

Bryan N. Danforth and George O. Poinar
Morphology, classification, and antiquity of Melittosphex burmensis (Apoidea, Melittosphecidae) and implications for early bee evolution
Journal of Paleontology (September 2011) 85 (5): 882-891

Abstract

Melittosphex burmensis (Melittosphecidae) is an important apoid fossil from middle Cretaceous ( approximately 100 Ma) amber from Myanmar (Burma). Melittosphex exhibits a combination of wasp and bee features making it an important transitional form linking bees with crabronid wasps. The presence of branched hairs suggests that it was a pollen-collector and many aspects of the morphology suggest that it is more closely related to bees than to any fossil or extant group of wasps. Here we report additional morphological information on Melittosphex burmensis. This specimen remains the earliest body-fossil evidence that pollen-collecting Apoidea (bees) were present approximately 20 million years after the origin of the eudicots ( approximately 120 Ma), the major angiosperm lineage with extensive reliance on bee pollination.


ISSN: 0022-3360
EISSN: 1937-2337
Coden: JPALAZ
Serial Title: Journal of Paleontology
Serial Volume: 85
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Morphology, classification, and antiquity of Melittosphex burmensis (Apoidea, Melittosphecidae) and implications for early bee evolution
Affiliation: Cornell University, Department of Entomology, Ithaca, NY, United States
Pages: 882-891
Published: 201109
Text Language: English
Publisher: Paleontological Society, Lawrence, KS, United States
References: 70
Accession Number: 2011-088057
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: NSF Grant DEB-0412176
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
N26°11'60" - N26°11'60", E96°13'00" - E96°13'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Oregon State University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, The Paleontological Society. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201146
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