Aix-en-Provence (Inst. Geol. Nancy) (Oligocene of France)

Where: Bouches-Du-Rhone, France (43.5° N, 5.5° E: paleocoordinates 43.3° N, 2.8° E)

• coordinate estimated from map

• local area-level geographic resolution

When: Niveau du gypse d'Aix Formation, Chattian (28.1 - 23.0 Ma)

• "The ‘insect formation’ is 2.5 m thick, divided in two parts that correspond to two very different environmental conditions. The first (lower) episode is remarkable by its lateral mo- notony of facies on a distance of 6 km at least, in the outcrops observed on the northwest of Aix-en-Provence. This lower episode is distinguished from the rest of the ‘insect formation’ and from the whole formation of Aix-en-Provence by the presence of a very numerous thin limestone laminae. The second (upper) episode is remarkable by the presence of many silici- fied laminae. The fauna in this level is also very well preserved"….This collection consists of unspecified layers

Environment/lithology: lacustrine - large; lithified limestone

• This lacustrine formation was deposited in a very large but shallow-water lake, with variable salinity and near the marine coast (Nury 1990, Nury & Thomassin 1994). Irregular basins formed during extension of the European platform in the Oligocene resulting from the formation of the West-European rift system.
• The deposit presents an alternation of limestone and marls with gypsum.

Size classes: macrofossils, mesofossils

Preservation: mold/impression, adpression

Collection methods: specimens in Inst. Geol. Nancy

Primary reference: N. Theobald. 1937. Les insectes fossiles des terrains oligocènes de France. Bulletin Mensuel (Mémoires) de la Société des Sciences de Nancy 1:1-473 [M. Clapham/J. Karr]more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 122509: authorized by Matthew Clapham, entered by Jered Karr on 31.12.2011

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

• "This formation has yielded a diverse flora and fauna, with finely preserved fossils. The flora is represented by numerous plant remains (pollen, roots, wood, stems, leaves, seeds and flowers). The fauna of vertebrates is represented by abundant fishes (GAUDANT 1978), and some frogs, birds, and bats with preserved skin outlines. Some invertebrates are perfectly preserved, including jellyfish and shells of aquatic molluscs with original colors and ornamentations (NEL et al. 1987). Aquatic and terrestrial arthropods (insects and arachnids) are very diverse and frequently well preserved….

•In spite of this, aquatic insects remain comparatively rare among the 30,000 fossil insects one of us (A.N.) collected at the locality."

Insecta
 Hemiptera - Aphrophoridae
Aphrophora coquandi Theobald 1937 spittle bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 6
 Hemiptera - Lygaeidae
Aphanus murchisonae Heer 1853 milkweed bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 21-23
 Hemiptera - Berytidae
"Megalomerium serratum" = Metacanthus (Megalomerium) serratum
"Megalomerium serratum" = Metacanthus (Megalomerium) serratum Theobald 1937 stilt bug
F 220(257)
 Hemiptera - Cydnidae
Cydnus brevicollis Heer 1853 burrowing bug
Cydnus meunieri Theobald 1937 burrowing bug
 Diptera - Bibionidae
"Plecia livida" = Plecia livida, "Plecia brevipennis" = Plecia livida, "Plecia constricta" = Plecia livida, "Plecia splendida" = Plecia foersteri, "Plecia bucklandi" = Plecia bucklandi, "Plecia cf. elegans" = Plecia bucklandi, "Plecia gracilis" = Plecia bucklandi, Plecia retracta, "Bibio detractus" = Plecia lygaeoides, "Bibio morio" = Plecia morio, Bibio curtisi
"Plecia livida" = Plecia livida Heer 1849 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 9, 19
"Plecia brevipennis" = Plecia livida Heer 1849 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 18
"Plecia constricta" = Plecia livida Heer 1849 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 1
"Plecia splendida" = Plecia foersteri Theobald 1937 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 15
"Plecia bucklandi" = Plecia bucklandi Heer 1849 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 12
"Plecia cf. elegans" = Plecia bucklandi Heer 1849 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 4(3)
"Plecia gracilis" = Plecia bucklandi Heer 1849 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 2
Plecia retracta Theobald 1937 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 13
"Bibio detractus" = Plecia lygaeoides Heer 1849 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 8
"Bibio morio" = Plecia morio Heer 1849 love bug
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 10
Bibio curtisi Heer 1856 march fly
Inst. Geol. Nancy AN 14