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1 December 2003 THE FIRST FOSSIL CYPHOPHTHALMID (ARACHNIDA, OPILIONES) FROM BITTERFELD AMBER, GERMANY
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Abstract
The first fossil cyphophthalmid harvestman, Siro platypedibus new species (Arachnida, Opiliones, Cyphophthalmi), is described from Bitterfeld amber, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. The age of this amber is in dispute. Geological studies support a Miocene (20–22 Ma) date for the deposit, but the presence of insect species identical to those in Baltic amber (dated at ca. 35–40 Ma) has led other authors to suggest that the Bitterfeld amber comprises older, redeposited material, contemporary with Baltic inclusions. Two features in this harvestman fossil are consistent with the Recent genera Siro, Paramiopsalis and Tranteeva (a) smooth tarsi and metatarsi in legs 1 and 2 and (b) the apparent absence of a dorsal crest on the basal article of the chelicera. Unequivocal autapomorphies of any one of these genera are not clearly preserved in this fossil, but Paramiopsalis is a monotypic Iberian genus, and Tranteeva is a monotypic genus from Bulgaria, while Siro is more diverse and widely distributed, including living representatives in Central Europe relatively close to the Bitterfeld type locality. For this reason we assign the fossil to Siro.
Jason A. Dunlop and Gonzalo Giribet "THE FIRST FOSSIL CYPHOPHTHALMID (ARACHNIDA, OPILIONES) FROM BITTERFELD AMBER, GERMANY," The Journal of Arachnology 31(3), (1 December 2003). https://doi.org/10.1636/H03-03
Received: 24 January 2003; Accepted: ; Published: 1 December 2003
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