Skip to Main Content

Exceptional preservation of insects in lacustrine environments

Dena M. Smith
Exceptional preservation of insects in lacustrine environments (in Lagerstaetten through time; a collection of exceptional preservational pathways from the terminal Neoproterozoic through today, James D. Schiffbauer (editor) and Marc Laflamme (editor))
Palaios (May 2012) 27 (5): 346-353


Insects are diverse and abundant components of most terrestrial ecosystems today and are well represented in the fossil record with first occurrences in the Early Devonian. Fossil deposits that include exceptionally preserved insect assemblages are found in several different types of Lagerstatten, with their preservation in amber and in lake sediments being of greatest importance. Researchers have used a variety of approaches to study the taphonomy of insects preserved in lacustrine environments and have identified several important variables that contribute to the preservation potential of insects. A combination of insect ecology, morphology, and the depositional setting in which an insect specimen rests influence the preservation potential of insects and ultimately affect the spatial, temporal, and compositional resolution of fossil assemblages. In general, lacustrine insect assemblages experience very little spatial and temporal averaging. Compositional fidelity of assemblages tends to be low, with an overabundance of allochthonous taxa from smaller size classes. In addition, the composition of fossil insect assemblages will be biased depending on the specimen's position within a lake, dependent on both water depth and distance from shore. Focus areas for future research are outlined, as are recommendations for improving field collecting methods and statistical approaches. Finally, the benefits of conducting synthetic studies using global databases and the importance of studying unexceptional deposits are discussed.

ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 27
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Exceptional preservation of insects in lacustrine environments
Title: Lagerstaetten through time; a collection of exceptional preservational pathways from the terminal Neoproterozoic through today
Author(s): Smith, Dena M.
Author(s): Schiffbauer, James D.editor
Author(s): Laflamme, Marceditor
Affiliation: University of Colorado, Museum of Natural History, Boulder, CO, United States
Affiliation: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univesity, Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory, Blacksburg, VA, United States
Pages: 346-353
Published: 201205
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
Meeting name: Geological Society of America annual meeting
Meeting location: Denver, CO, USA, United States
Meeting date: 20101031Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2010
References: 58
Accession Number: 2012-065526
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: NSF Grant EF-0905606
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
Secondary Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201234
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal