, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 195–201 | Cite as

First discovery of fossil Coloninae in Cretaceous Burmese amber (Coleoptera, Staphylinoidea, Leiodidae)

  • Shûhei Yamamoto
  • Yui Takahashi
Research paper


Coloninae is a tiny and distinctive subfamily of the highly diverse family Leiodidae (round fungus and small carrion beetles). Although only one leiodid fossil is known from the Mesozoic, its taxonomic position and classification are doubtful. We describe the first definitive Coloninae fossil, Colon burmiticum Yamamoto sp. nov., from Upper Cretaceous amber of Myanmar. Our finding sheds light on the origin and early evolutionary history of this peculiar genus and its subfamily.


Colon Cenomanian Myanmar Burmite Evolution 


Die Coloninae sind eine kleine und unverwechselbare Unterfamilie der vielfältigen Gruppe der Familie Leiodidae, auch runde Pilzkäfer genannt. Obwohl es nur einen einzigen fossilen Vertreter der Leiodidae aus dem Mesozoikum gibt, ist seine taxonomische Position und Klassifizierung zweifelhaft. Hier beschreiben wir das erste eindeutige Fossil der Coloninae, Colon burmiticum Yamamoto sp. nov., aus dem Oberkreide-Bernstein aus Myanmar (Burma). Unsere Entdeckung beleuchtet den Ursprung und die frühe Evolutionsgeschichte dieser eigenartigen Gattung und sogar der Unterfamilie.


Colon Cenomanium Myanmar Birmit/Burmit Evolution 



The first author would like to thank Toshiya Hirowatari (Kyushu University, Fukuoka) for commenting on the early version of the manuscript. SY also thanks Crystal Maier (FMNH) for the specimen number. Three reviewers, including Stewart B. Peck and Mike Reich (Editor-in-Chief), improved the manuscript. This study was partially supported by the Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows (14J02669) to SY from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan. This work is a contribution from the Entomological Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan (Ser. 7, No. 60).


  1. Cruickshank, R.D., and K. Ko. 2003. Geology of an amber locality in the Hukawng Valley, northern Myanmar. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 21: 441–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fleming, J. 1821. Insecta. Supplement to the fourth fifth and sixth editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 5 [Part 1]. A., vol. 5, 40–56. Edinburgh: Constable and Company.Google Scholar
  3. Herbst, J.F.W. 1797. Natursystem aller bekannten in- und ausländischen Insekten, als eine Fortsetzung der von Büffonschen Naturgeschichte. Der Käfer siebenter Theil. Berlin: J. Pauli.Google Scholar
  4. Horn, G.H. 1880. Synopsis of the Silphidae of the United States with reference to the genera of other countries. Transactions of the American Entomological Society and Proceedings of the Entomological Section of the Academy of Sciences 8: 219–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hoshina, H. 2009. A taxonomic revision of the subfamily Coloninae (Coleoptera: leiodidae) from Japan and Taiwan. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 152: 237–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Latreille, P.A. 1802. Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes. Tome troisième. Familles naturelles et genres. Paris: F. Dufart.Google Scholar
  7. Latreille, P.A. 1806. Genera crustaceorum et insectorum secundum ordinem naturalem in familias disposita, iconibus exemplisque plurimis explicata. Tomus secundus. Paris: Amand Koenig.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Editio decima, reformata, Tomus I. Holmiae: Laurentii Salvii.Google Scholar
  9. McKenna, D.D., B.D. Farrell, M.S. Caterino, C.W. Farnum, D.C. Hawks, D.R. Maddison, A.E. Seago, A.E.Z. Short, A.F. Newton, and M.K. Thayer. 2015. Phylogeny and evolution of Staphyliniformia and Scarabaeiformia: forest litter as a stepping stone for diversification of nonphytophagous beetles. Systematic Entomology 40: 35–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Newton, A. F. 2016a. Staphylinoidea Latreille, 1802. In Handbook of Zoology, eds. R.G. Beutel, and N.P. Kristensen. Arthropoda: Insecta. Coleoptera, beetles. Morphology and Systematics (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga, Polyphaga partim). Vol. 1, 2nd ed. eds. R.G. Beutel, and R.A.B. Leschen. 315–316. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  11. Newton, A. F. 2016b. Leiodidae Fleming, 1821. In Handbook of Zoology, eds. R.G. Beutel, and N.P. Kristensen. Arthropoda: Insecta. Coleoptera, beetles. Morphology and Systematics (Archostemata, Adephaga, Myxophaga, Polyphaga partim). vol. 1, 2nd ed. eds. R.G. Beutel, and R.A.B. Leschen. 364–376. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  12. Park, S.-J., H. Hoshina, and K.-J. Ahn. 2005. Descriptions of two new species of the genus Colon Herbst (Coleoptera: Leiodidae: Coloninae) from Korea and Japan. Coleopterists Bulletin 59: 407–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Peck, S.B. 2000. Leiodidae fleming, 1821. In American beetles, vol. 1, eds. R.H. Arnett Jr., and M.C. Thomas, 250–258. Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  14. Peck, S.B., and K. Stephan. 1996. A revision of the genus Colon Herbst (Coleoptera; Leiodidae; Coloninae) of North America. Canadian Entomologist 128: 667–741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Peris, D., and X. Delclòs. 2015. Fossil Monotomidae (Coleoptera: Polyphaga) from Laurasian Cretaceous amber. Organisms Diversity and Evolution 15: 333–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Peris, D., E. Ruzzier, V. Perrichot, and X. Delclos. 2016. Evolutionary and paleobiological implications of Coleoptera (Insecta) from Tethyan-influenced Cretaceous ambers. Geoscience Frontiers 7: 695–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Perkovsky, E.E. 1999. New genus and species of late Jurassic Leiodinae (Coleoptera, Leiodidae) from Mongolia. Vestnik Zoologii 33: 77–79. (in Russian, with English summary).Google Scholar
  18. Perreau, M. 2012. Description of a new genus and two new species of Leiodidae (Coleoptera) from Baltic amber using phase contrast synchrotron X-ray microtomography. Zootaxa 3455: 81–88.Google Scholar
  19. Perreau, M. 2015. Leiodidae. In Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera, revised and updated edition, vol. 2, eds. I. Löbl, and D. Löbl, 180–291. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  20. Ponomarenko, A.G., D.S. Aristov, A.S. Bashkuev, YuM Gubin, A.V. Khramov, E.D. Lukashevich, YuA Popov, L.N. Pritykina, S.M. Sinitsa, N.D. Sinitshenkova, I.D. Sukatsheva, D.V. Vassilenko, and E.V. Yan. 2014. Upper Jurassic Lagerstätte Shar Teg, Southwestern Mongolia. Paleontological Journal 48: 1573–1682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rasnitsyn, A.P., A.S. Bashkuev, D.S. Kopylov, E.D. Lukashevich, A.G. Ponomarenko, YuA Popov, D.A. Rasnitsyn, O.V. Ryzhkova, E.A. Sidorchuk, I.D. Sukatsheva, and D.D. Vorontsov. 2016. Sequence and scale of changes in the terrestrial biota during the Cretaceous (based on materials from fossil resins). Cretaceous Research 61: 234–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ross, A., C. Mellish, P. York, and B. Crighton. 2010. Burmese amber. In Biodiversity of Fossils in Amber from the Major World Deposits, ed. D. Penney, 208–235. Manchester: Siri Scientific Press.Google Scholar
  23. Shi, G., D.A. Grimaldi, G.E. Harlow, J. Wang, J. Wang, M. Yang, W. Lei, Q. Li, and X. Li. 2012. Age constraint on Burmese amber based on U-Pb dating of zircons. Cretaceous Research 37: 155–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Szymczakowski, W. 1964. Revision des Colonidae (Coleoptera) des regions orientale et australienne. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia 9: 469–527.Google Scholar
  25. Yamamoto, S., and A. Solodovnikov. 2016. The first fossil Megalopsidiinae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber and its potential for understanding basal relationships of rove beetles. Cretaceous Research 59: 140–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yamamoto, S., and Y. Takahashi. 2016. Coproporus electron sp. nov., the first tachyporine rove beetle in Dominican amber (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). PalZ 90: 629–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yamamoto, S., Y. Takahashi, and J. Parker. 2017. Evolutionary stasis in enigmatic jacobsoniid beetles. Gondwana Research 45: 275–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Paläontologische Gesellschaft 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Entomological Laboratory, Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations