Project 3832: D. d. Amorim, D. E. Greenwalt. 2020. Cretaceous and Eocene fossils of the rare extant genus Synneuron Lundstrom (Diptera: Canthyloscledidae): evidence of a true Pangean clade. Cladistics. 36 (4):413-423.
Specimen: Synneuron decipiens (unvouchered)
View: whole organism


The first two fossil species of the canthyloscelid genus Synneuron are described based on compression wings. Synneuron eomontana sp. nov. is described from the Middle Eocene Coal Creek Member of the Kishenehn Formation, in the USA, and Synneuron jelli sp. nov. is described from the Lower Cretaceous Koonwarra Fossil Bed of the Korumburra Group, in Australia. The wings are illustrated and compared to the extant species of the genus, to species of the three other recent genera of Canthyloscelidae and to an anisopodid. A phylogenetic analysis of the relationships between the species of Synneuron was performed. The Eocene fossil S. eomontana appears as sister of the pair of recent Holarctic species of the genus, while the Australian Cretaceous species S. jelli is sister of the clade with the species of Synneuron of the northern hemisphere. The sister group of Synneuron is the canthyloscelid clade (Hyperoscelis + Canthyloscelis), for which a middle Jurassic fossil is known. At the early Cretaceous, Gondwana was already separated from Laurasia and the disjunction between the species of Synneuron in Australia and the northern hemisphere clade of the genus suggest a true pangeic origin for the genus. The biology of the canthyloscelid larvae is shaped by its trophic specialization—xylosaprophagous. This suggests that the transition from the Pangean Jurassic gymnosperm‐dominated forests to the late Cretaceous angiosperm‐dominated forests may be related to the low recent diversity of Synneuron or of the canthyloscelids in the world—and maybe to the extinction of the genus in the southern hemisphere. This major turnover of the vegetation type along the Cretaceous may be also somehow related to the complete extinction of other groups of flies strictly associated with gymnosperms, as may be the case of the lower brachyceran family Zhangsolvidae. This speculation needs additional corroboration from other groups, that will become available with the combination of systematics, paleontology and biogeographical information of different early Cretaceous clades.

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Article DOI: 10.1111/cla.12413

Project DOI: 10.7934/P3832,
This project containsMatrices
  • 1 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 2 Documents
  • 10 Taxa
  • 1 Specimen
  • 27 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 287.41k

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Total scored cells: 266
Total media associated with cells: 0
Total labels associated with cell media: 0
Total characters: 27
Total characters with associated media: 0
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 58
Total character states with associated media: 0
Total character states with media with labels:0
Total unordered/ordered characters:22/5
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MorphoBank Project 3832

    Authors' Institutions

    • National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

    • Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP, University of Sao Paulo)


    member name taxa specimens media chars character
    cell scorings
    (scored, NPA, "-")
    MorphoBank Curator
    Project Administrator
    (265, 0, 1)
    Dalton de Souza Amorim
    Full membership
    (0, 0, 0)

    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M27057' (10 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
    no cell
    "-" cellscell images labels on
    cell images
    [1] Olbiogaster nuxco
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [2] Cretoseguya burmitica
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [3] Anapausis clivicola
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [4] Exiliscelis californiensis
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [5] Hyperoscelis insignis
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [6] Canthyloscelis sp.
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [7] Synneuron decipiens
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [8] Synneuron annulipes
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [9] † Synneuron eomontana
    Last Modified in 10/30/20
    [10] † Synneuron jelli
    Last Modified in 10/30/20

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    Matrix views648Matrix landing page (544 views); Data matrix from author (103 views); Morphological matrix from Penz et al 2013 (prepared by MorphoBank curators from original submission) (1 view);
    Taxon list2623
    Media views2018Media search (1698 views); M693924 (320 views);
    Specimen list1160

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