Palaeozoic insects of southern Africa: a review

Geertsema, H.
van Dijk, D. E.
van den Heever, J. A.
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Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
Although a substantial number of Triassic insect fossils have been discovered in southern Africa, relatively few insect fossils are known from the Permian deposits of this region. Fossil insects from the Permian period elsewhere, including the extensive entomological fauna from Eastern Europe (including Russia), Brazil and Australia is well-documented. The Irati Formation in the Parana Basin of Brazil, the temporal and lithological correlate of the Permian Whitehill Formation of South Africa, has yielded fossil insects belonging to Homoptera, N europtera, Coleoptera and Mecoptera. Fossil insects from the Whitehill Formation are usually poorly preserved and only seven specimens are mentioned in the literature. An overview is given of the more recent discoveries of Permian fossil insects in South Africa. This includes the discovery of the oldest beetle in Africa, the oldest longhorned grasshopper in the Southern Hemisphere and a survey of the Permian insects from the Beaufort Group of Natal. Reasons for the paucity of Permian insects are briefly discussed.
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Permian; insect fossil; southern Africa