Mesozoic Holcoptera (Coleoptera: Coptoclavidae) from England and the United States

Richard S. Kelly, Andrew J. Ross, Philip Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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The impact of mass extinctions on insect evolution is debated, so investigating taxa that span a crisis is important for understanding such large-scale environmental perturbations. The beetle genus Holcoptera has been found in deposits from the Late Triassic: Norian to the Early Jurassic: Sinemurian of England and the United States, and possibly Italy. Historical collections of Rev. P.B. Brodie and J.F. Jackson were re-examined and the ages of British localities reviewed, US collections were re-interpreted, and new material from the Dorset Coast was considered. Holcoptera schlotheimi and Holcoptera confluens are synonymised based on morphological similarities; Holcoptera giebeli remains distinct and a new complete specimen confirms the placement of this genus in the family Coptoclavidae. Three new species are described: Holcoptera pigmentatus sp. nov. from the Penarth Group of Warwickshire, Holcoptera alisonae sp. nov. (based on the rejected neotype of H. schlotheimi) from the Lower Lias of Dorset and Holcoptera solitensis sp. nov. from the Newark Supergroup of Virginia. H. schlotheimi and H. giebeli are known from the Late Triassic Penarth Group and Early Jurassic Lias Group and so survived the end-Triassic extinction, whereas H. alisonae and H. pigmentatus are only known from the Lias Group. H. solentensis is the oldest described species in this genus and is not known from any other locality.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
Early online date27 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jun 2017


  • Palaeoentomology
  • Taxonomy/systematics
  • Holometabola
  • British stratigraphy
  • end-Triassic mass extinction


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