Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 527–542 | Cite as

New ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae) from Miocene Mexican and Dominican ambers and their paleobiogeographical implications

  • David PerisEmail author
  • Mónica M. Solórzano Kraemer
  • Enrique Peñalver
  • Xavier Delclòs
Original Article


Two new species are described from Mexican amber (15–20 Ma): Cenocephalus tenuis Peris and Solórzano Kraemer sp. nov. and Tesserocerus simojovelensis Peris and Solórzano Kraemer sp. nov. Cenocephalus, originally described as living in Central and South America and then as fossils from Early to Middle Miocene amber, is noted as morphologically indistinguishable from Mitosoma, and originally described as endemic from Madagascar. Thus, we consider that a close taxonomic relationship exists, even if they are not the same genus. New evidence of the species already described in Platypodinae (Tesserocerini) from Mexican and Dominican ambers (15–20 Ma) and the differences between those species are discussed, complementing the original descriptions. The paleobiogeography of Cenocephalus and Mitosoma is analyzed, which strongly supports the hypothesis of colonization from Afrotropical Madagascar to America prior to Early to Middle Miocene (15–20 Ma) via sea currents. Hymenaea was interpreted as the Mexican and Dominican resin producers. Based on the analysis of fossil and current distribution of such plants, our hypothesis considers that the beetle dispersion occurred with Hymenaea, which was possibly its host plant.


Platypodinae Cenocephalus Mitosoma Hymenaea Paleobiogeography Madagascar 



The authors are grateful to Drs. A. Nel, A.I. Cognato, B.H. Jordal, D.E. Bright, G.O. Poinar, J. Hulcr, and S.R. Davis for their help with the bibliography and/or comments provided on the first draft. The authors would like also to thank Dr. G. Bechly for allowing us to study the Mexican amber specimens and Dr. H. Schillhammer for allowing us to study the holotypes of Cenocephalus and Mitosoma. We also thank R. Ravelomanana and S. Rahanitriniaina for their assistance and help during the scientific fieldwork, and B. Razafindrahama and W. Nandroinjafihita (Commune Rurale d’Ambahy, Madagascar) for granting permits and offering assistance during the fieldwork stage in the Réserve Naturelle Ambahy Forêt d’Analalava. We also received helpful comments on the earlier versions of this study from two anonymous reviewers, for which we are very grateful. Furthermore, the authors wish to acknowledge the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE/MICET) for their assistance in aspects of the administrative development of our work in Madagascar. This research received support from the SYNTHESYS Project which is financed by the European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 “Capacities” Program and from the project 2014SGR-251, “Sedimentary Geology”, from the University Department, Research and Information Society of the  Catalonian Government (DURSI).This study is part of the Ph.D. dissertation of D.P., which is supported by a FPU grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. This project represents a contribution to the project CGL2011-23948, “The Cretaceous amber of Spain: A multidisciplinary study II”, from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. M.M.S.K was supported by postdoctoral fellowship No. SO894/3-1 from the German Research Foundation (DFG). Research in Madagascar is partially founded by the Grant GEFNE127-14 from the National Geographic Global Exploration Found.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This work complies with the current laws of the countries where it was performed.


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Peris
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mónica M. Solórzano Kraemer
    • 2
  • Enrique Peñalver
    • 3
  • Xavier Delclòs
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament d’Estratigrafia, Paleontologia i Geociències Marines; and Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio), Facultat de GeologiaUniversitat de Barcelona (UB)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und NaturmuseumFrankfurt am MainGermany
  3. 3.Museo GeomineroInstituto Geológico y Minero de EspañaMadridSpain

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