Seeds are plant organs commonly found worldwide in late Paleozoic deposits. In Gondwana, the seeds are found in deposits from Southern Africa, Antarctica, Oceania, and South America, and are widely reported in the well-known “Glossopteris Flora”. Even with a significant record of these plant organs, little is known about plant-insect interactions with seeds during the Pennsylvanian and Permian periods. In the present paper, we recorded the first formal record of seed consumption by arthropods in Cordaicarpus and Samaropsis-like seeds for Gondwana from lower Permian (Artinskian) deposits in Southern Brazil. The material analyzed was collected from the Itanema II outcrop of Santa Catarina State and consisted of 34 seed specimens. Of these, eight specimens presented evidence for plant-insect interaction, representing 23.5% of all specimens that were attacked by seed predators. The consumption was inflicted by insects with stylate mouthparts, probably belonging to hemipteroid or paleodictyopteroid lineages. The damage is described as perforations and scale-insect marks along the seed body. We recorded one damage type as DT74 and three others as new damage types DT399, DT400, and DT401, some of which are specific to a few seed morphotypes, including one morphotype with subtending cupule still attached to the seed. The elevated frequency of seed predation indicates that seed consumption by insects was well established during the early Permian.

You do not currently have access to this article.