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Fossil harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones) from Bitterfeld amber

Author(s): Jason Dunlop | Plamen Mitov

Journal: ZooKeys
ISSN 1313-2989

Volume: 16;
Start page: 347;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Eupnoi | Dyspnoi | Oligocene | Sachsen-Anhalt | Biogeography

Fossil harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones: Dyspnoi and Eupnoi) are described from Bitterfeld amber, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany deposited in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. The exact age of this amber has been in dispute, but recent work suggests it is youngest Palaeogene (Oligocene: Chattian). Histricostoma tuberculatum (Koch & Berendt, 1854), Caddo dentipalpus (Koch & Berendt, 1854), Dicranopalpus ramiger (Koch & Berendt, 1854) and Leiobunum longipes Menge, 1854 – all of which are also known from Eocene Baltic amber – are reported from Bitterfeld amber for the first time. They support the idea that both ambers sampled a similar terrestrial arthropod fauna: irrespective of any difference in age. Mitostoma gruberi sp. n. and Amilenus deltshevi sp. n. are described as new. One fossil is, in our opinion, morphologically indistinguishable from the extant species Lacinius erinaceus Staręga, 1966 from the Caucuses, and is tentatively assigned to this taxon. The Bitterfeld material thus includes the first fossil record of the extant genera Amilenus Martens, 1969 and Lacinius Thorell, 1876 respectively.
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