Hymenaea protera sp.n. (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae) from Dominican amber has African affinities


Hymenaea protera is described from amber originating from La Toca mine in the Dominican Republic. The fossil species is characterized by the presence of reduced petals as well as distinctly clawed showy petals with cordate to reniform bases and a glabrous, verrucose ovary with long hirsute hairs at its base and along one margin. The fossil species most closely resembles the extantH. verrucosa Gaertner which occurs in East Africa and adjacent islands. These findings are interpreted as supporting a hypothesis that the genusHymenaea arose in the late Cretaceous on the combined South American-African continents and that Cretaceous and early Tertiary landmass movements were significant in determining the present amphi-Atlantic distribution of the genus. It is proposed that at least the majority, if not all, of the amber recovered from La Toca mine and other mines in the vicinity with similar-aged deposits originated fromH. protera.

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Poinar, G.O. Hymenaea protera sp.n. (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae) from Dominican amber has African affinities. Experientia 47, 1075–1082 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01923347

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Key words

  • Hymenaea
  • Leguminosae
  • Caesalpinioideae
  • fossil
  • amber
  • Dominican Republic