Comments on the proposed conservation of the ichnogenus Coprinisphaera Sauer, 1955 (Ichnotaxa, Insecta, Coleoptera, COPRINISPHAERIDAE) 1 (Case 3360)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:F. - T. Krell
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Volume:65
Issue:1
Start Page:50
Pagination:50-54
Date Published:03/2008
Type of Article:Comment
ISSN:0007-5167
Full Text

Genise et al. (BZN 63: 243–246) proposed the conservation of the ichnogeneric name Coprinisphaera Sauer, 1955 by suppressing the senior synonym FontanaiRoselli, 1939. I fully support that Coprinisphaera should be used as the valid name for the fossil dung balls. It is not only a widely used name in ichnotaxonomy but has entered the geological literature also by naming the ‘Coprinisphaera ichnofacies’ as already documented by Genise et al. (BZN 63: 243–246) and complemented by the following references: Sauer (1965, pp. 271–272), Martinez (1982, p. 48), Genise & Bown (1994, p. 109), Hasiotis et al. (1994, fig. 149), Genise & Cladera (1995, p. 78), Genise & Laza (1998, p. 220), González et al. (1998), Genise (2000a, pp. 50, 53, 55; 2000b, p. 28; 2000c, p. 115), Buatois et al. (2000), Verde (2000, pp. 112–113), Genise et al. (2001), Hasiotis (2002, pp. 79–80, 132), Genise (2003, p. 19), Bellosi et al. (2004, pp. 33, 35), Buatois & Mángano (2004, pp. 312, 327), Dieni & Genise (2004a, p. 29; 2004b, p. 31), Genise & Cladera (2004, pp. 632, 636), Genise et al. (2004b), Genise & Bellosi (2004, p. 41), Hasiotis (2004, pp. 184–185, 188, 190, 200, 236, 238, 239, 250), Hembree & Hasiotis (2004), Bellosi et al. (2005), Radies et al. (2005, pp. 116–118), Sánchez et al. (2005), Chure et al. (2006, p. 243), Hasiotis (2006, p. 401), Hasiotis & Bourke (2006, pp. 217–218), Sánchez et al. (2006; 2007), Bromley et al. (2007, pp. 144, 146), Buatois & Mángano (2007, pp. 286–289, 315); Duringer et al. (2007, pp. 333, 350), Ekdale et al. (2007, p. 570), Genise (2007), Hasiotis (2007, p. 265), Hasiotis et al. (2007, pp. 174, 182, 192), Hunt & Lucas (2007, pp. 59–60, 63), Krause et al. (2007), Krell (2007, p. 3), MacEachern et al. (2007a, pp. 54–58, 61; 2007b, p. 114), Melchor et al. (2007, p. 16), Verde & Genise (2007), Verde et al. (2007, pp. 342–343); with the secondary incorrect spelling Coprinsphaera: Halffter & Matthews (1966, p. 154), Retallack (1991, pp. 182, 296), Duringer et al. (2000, p. 264). It would be confusing if the Coprinisphaera ichnofacies was defined by an ichnogenus with a different name.
  The senior subjective synonym Fontanai Roselli is still in use (Buatois & Mángano 2007, 288; MacEachern et al. 2007, 58), but these authors did not consider its synonymy with Coprinisphaera proposed by González et al. (1998) and Laza (2006). Both names were mentioned as valid ichnogenera. Fontanaihas never been used as a valid senior synonym of Coprinisphaera.
  Dealing with non-organic entities without tokogenetic or phylogenetic relationships and poor in characters, ichnotaxonomy is notoriously difficult and subjective. It is current understanding by many ichnologists that ‘producer-based criteria, as such [...] may not be considered relevant for ichnotaxonomy, because the assignment generally is too ambiguous’ (Bertling et al., 2006). Ichnotaxonomy is at a stage of structural typology. With increasing ichnotaxonomical knowledge and new finds the assignment of traces to trace-makers might become more reliable and eventually an accepted ichnotaxonomical criterion. Currently I consider it rash to suppress a subjective senior synonym in ichnology because it might represent a distinct ichnotaxon in a future refined ichnotaxonomy. Therefore I suggest the modification of the application by Genise et al. (BZN 63: 244) and ask the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature:

(1) to use its plenary power to give the name Coprinisphaera Sauer, 1955 precedence over the name Fontanai Roselli, 1939, whenever the two are considered to be synonyms;

(2) to place on the Official List of Generic Names in Zoology the nameCoprinisphaera Sauer, 1955 (gender: feminine), with the endorsement that it is to be given precedence over the name Fontanai Roselli, 1939 whenever the two are considered to be synonyms, type ichnospecies by monotypy Coprinisphaeraecuadoriensis Sauer, 1955;

(3) to place on the Official List of Specific Names in Zoology the nameecuadoriensis Sauer, 1955, as published in the binomen Coprinisphaera ecuadoriensis (specific name of the type ichnospecies of Coprinisphaera Sauer, 1955).

  I do not ask for Fontanai Roselli to be placed on the Official List because it should currently not be used as a valid genus-group name. Names that should not be used as valid should not be on the Official List. Putting Fontanaichnus Roselli, 1976 (junior objective synonym of Fontanai Roselli, 1939) on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Generic Names in Zoology as asked for by Genise et al. in (4)(b) (BZN 63: 244) is appropriate but unnecessary because it is a junior objective synonym anyway.

Additional references

Bellosi, E.S., Genise, J.F., Laza, J.H. & Sánchez, M.V. 2005. Terrestrial trace fossils and ichnostratigraphy of the Sarmiento Formation: implications for the oldest grassdominated ecosystem. Actas del XVI Congreso Geológico Argentino, La Plata 306.
Bellosi, E.S., González, M.G. & Genise, J.F. 2004. Origen y desmantelamiento de lateritas paleógenas del sudoeste de Uruguay (Formación Asencio). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, n.s., 6: 25–40.
Bertling, M., Braddy, S.J., Bromley, R.G., Demathieu, G.R., Genise, J., Mikuláš, R., Nielsen, J.K., Nielsen, K.S.S., Rindsberg, A.K., Schlirf, M. & Uchman, A. 2006. Names for trace fossils: a uniform approach. Lethaia39: 256–286.
Bromley, R.G., Buatois, L.A., Genise, J.F., Labandeira, C.G., Mángano, M.G., Melchor, R.N., Schlirf, M. & Uchman, A. 2007. Comments on the paper ‘‘Reconnaissance of Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation ichnofossils, Rocky Mountain Region, USA: Paleoenvironmental, stratigraphic, and paleoclimatic significance of terrestrian and freshwater ichnocoenoses’’ by Stephen T. Hasiotis.Sedimentary Geology, 200: 141–150.
Buatois, L.A. & Mángano, M.G. 2004. Animal-substrate interactions in freshwater environments: applications of ichnology in facies and sequence stratigraphic analysis of fluviolacustrine successions. Pp. 311–333 in D. McIlroy (Ed.), The Application of Ichnology to Palaeoenvironmental and Stratigraphic Analysis. Geological Society, London.
Buatois, L.A. & Mángano, M.G. 2007. Invertebrate ichnology of continental freshwater environments. Pp. 285–323 in Miller, W. (Ed.), Trace Fossils. Concepts, Problems, Prospects. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Buatois, L.A., Mánagno, M.G. & Genise, J.F. 2000. Ichnofacies models in continental environments. Abstracts of the 31st International Geological Congress, Río de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2000 [CD-ROM].
Chure, D.J., Litwin, R., Hasiotis, S.T., Evanoff, E. & Carpenter, K. 2006. The fauna and flora of the Morrison Formation: 2006. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin36: 233–249.
Dieni, I. & Genise, J. 2004a. Il primo ritrovamento [europeo] di CoprinisphaeraSauer, 1955 (nidi fossili di Scarabei stercorari) nell’Eocene dell’Italia NE. Giornate di Paleontologia 2004, Bolzano, 21–23 Maggio, Riassunti e Elenco Partecipanti.
Dieni, I. & Genise, J. 2004b. The first European record of Coprinisphaera Sauer, 1955. Ichnia 2004, First International Congress on Ichnology, April 19–23, 2004. Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, Trelew, Patagonia Argentina. Abstract Book: 31.
Duringer, P., Brunet, M., Cambefort, Y., Beauvilain, A., Mackaye, H.T., Viginaud, P. & Schuster, M. 2000. Des boules de bousiers fossiles et leurs terriers dans les sites à Australopithèques du Pliocène tchadien. Bulletin de la Société géologique de France, 171: 259–269.
Duringer, P., Schuster, M., Genise, J.F., Mackaye, H.T., Vignaud, P. & Brunet, M. 2007. New termite trace fossils: Galleries, nests and fungus combs from the Chad basin of Africa (Upper Miocene–Lower Pliocene). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology251: 323–353.
Ekdale, A.A., Bromley, R.G. & Loope, D.B. 2007. Ichnofacies of an ancient erg: a climatically influenced trace fossil association in the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, Southern Utah, USA. Pp. 562–576 in Miller, W. (Ed.), Trace Fossils. Concepts, Problems, Prospects. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Genise, J.F. 2000a. Nidos fósiles de insectos en paleosuelos. Pp. 46–60 in Buatois, L.A., Genise, J., Mángano, M.G., Muñoz, N., Netto, R.G. & Poiré, D.G. (Eds.), II Congreso Latinoamericano de Sedimentología, VIII Reunión Argentina de Sedimentología, Curso de
Actualización. Icnología: aplicaciones en la geología sedimentaria y la industria petrolera. 
Mar del Plata, Argentina.
Genise, J.F. 2000b. Insect paleoichnology in South America: past and present.Abstracts, I Simpósio Brasileiro de Paleoartropodología, I Simpósio Sudamericano de Paleoartropodología, I International Meeting on Paleoarthropodology, Ribeirão Preto – SP, Brazil 3–8.9.2000. Pages 28–29.
Genise, J.F. 2000c. Insect fossil nests. Abstracts, I Simpósio Brasileiro de Paleoartroposología, I Simpósio Sudamericano de Paleoartropodología, I International Meeting on Paleoarthropodology, Ribeirão Preto – SP, Brazil 3–8.9.2000. Pages 114–115.
Genise, J.F. 2003. The palaeontological significance of insect trace fossils in palaeosols. FossilsX3. Programme and Abstracts, 3rd International Congress of Palaeoentomology with 2nd International Meeting on Palaeoarthropodology and 2nd World Congress on Amber and its Inclusions, 7th to 11th February 2003, Pretoria, South Africa. Pages 18–19.
Genise, J.F. 2007. Icnoentomología: el estudio integrado de trazas actuales y fósiles de insectos. Resúmenes de la Quinta Reunión Argentina de Icnología y Tercera Reunión de Icnología del Mercosur. Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuergo, Argentina: 12.
Genise, J.F. & Bellosi, E.S. 2004. Continental trace fossils of the Laguna Palacios Formation (Upper Cretaceous) from the San Bernardo Range (Chubut Province). Pp. 33–43 in Bellosi, E.S. & Melchor, R.N. (Eds.), Ichnia 2004, First International Congress on Ichnology, Fieldtrip Guidebook. Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, Trelew, Argentina.
Genise, J.F. & Bown, T.M. 1994. New Miocene scarabeid and hymenopterous nests and Early Miocene (Santacrucian) paleoenvironments, Patagonian Argentina. Ichnos3: 107–117.
Genise, J.F. & Cladera, G. 1995. Application of computerized tomography to study insect traces. Ichnos4: 77–81.
Genise, J.F. & Cladera, G. 2004. Chubutolithes gaimanensis and other wasp trace fossils: breaking through the taphonomic barrier. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 77: 626–638.
Genise, J.F. & Laza, J.H. 1998. Monesichnus ameghinoi Roselli: a complex insect trace fossil produced by two distinct trace makers. Ichnos5: 213–223.
Genise, J.F., Cladera, G. & Tancroff, S. 2001. La presencia de Eatonichnus claronensis en el Paleoceno del Chubut (Argentina). IV Reunión Argentina de Icnología y Segunda Reunión de Icnología del Mercosur, Septembre de 2001, Tucuman, Argentina: 45.
Genise, J.F., Mángano, M.G. & Buatois, L.A. 2004b. Ichnology moving out of the water: a model for terrestrial ichnofacies. Abstract Book, First International Congress on Ichnology, April 2004, Trelew, Argentina: 38.
González, M., Tófalo, O.R. & Pazos, P. 1998. Icnología y paleosuelos del miembro Del Palacio de la formación Asencio (Cretácico Superior-Terciario Inferior) del Uruguay. Actas, II Congreso Uruguayo de Geologia, Punta del Este. 38–42.
Halffter, G. & Matthews, E.G. 1966. The natural history of dung beetles of the subfamily Scarabaeinae (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae). Folia Entomologica Mexicana,12–14: 1–312.
Hasiotis, S.T. 2002. Continental Trace Fossils. SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Short Course Notes, 51: ii, 132 pp.
Hasiotis, S.T. 2004. Reconnaissance of Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation ichnofossils, Rocky Mountain Region, USA: paleoenvironmental, stratigraphic, and paleoclimatic significance of terrestrial and freshwater ichnocoenoses.Sedimentary Geology167: 177–268.
Hasiotis, S.T. 2006. [Book review of:] The Application of Ichnology to Palaeoenvironmental and Sratigraphic Analysis, D. McIlroy, ed., 2004, The Geological Society of London Special Publication 228, 490 pp. [...]. Palaios21: 401–402.
Hasiotis, S.T. 2007. Continental ichnology: fundamental processes and controls on trace fossil distribution. Pp. 262–278 in Miller, W. (Ed.), Trace Fossils. Concepts, Problems, Prospects. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Hasiotis, S.T. & Bourke, M.C. 2006. Continental trace fossils and museum exhibits: displaying organism behaviour frozen in time. The Geological Curator8: 211–226.
Hasiotis, S.T., Bown [‘Brown’ on cover], T.M. & Abston, C. 1994. Photoglossary of marine and continental ichnofossils. US. Geological Survey Digital Data Series23. [CD-ROM]
Hasiotis, S.T., Kraus, M.J. & Demko, T.M. 2007. Climatic controls on continental trace fossils. Pp. 172–195 in Miller, W. (Ed.), Trace Fossils. Concepts, Problems, Prospects. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Hembree, D.L. & Hasiotis, S.T. 2004. Using paleosols and ichnofossils to interpret the changing paleoecology, paleoenvironments, and paleoclimate of the Eocene-Oligocene White River Formation, northeastern Colorado. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programme36(5): 63.
Hunt, A.P. & Lucas, S.G. 2007. Tetrapod ichnofacies: A new paradigm. Ichnos,14: 59–68.
Krause, J.M., Bellosi, E.S. & Genise, J.F. 2007. Evolucion de la icnofauna terrestre de la Patagonia Central II. El grupo Rio Chico: desde el E-T hasta la explosión del Eoceno medio. Resúmenes de la Quinta Reunión Argentina de Icnología y Tercera Reunión de Icnología del Mercosur. Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuergo, Argentina: 38.
Krell, F.-T. 2007. Catalogue of fossil Scarabaeoidea (Coleoptera: Polyphaga) of the Mesozoic and Tertiary – Version 2007 –. Denver Museum of Nature and Science Technical Report, 2007–8: 68.
MacEachern, J.A., Pemberton, S.G., Gingras, M.K. & Bann, K.L. 2007a. The ichnofacies paradigm: a fifty-year retrospective. Pp. 52–77 in Miller, W. (Ed.), Trace Fossils. Concepts, Problems, Prospects. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
MacEachern, J.A., Pemberton, S.G., Gingras, M.K., Bann, K.L. & Dafoe, L.T. 2007b. Uses of trace fossils in genetic stratigraphy. Pp. 110–134 in Miller, W. (Ed.), Trace Fossils. Concepts, Problems, Prospects. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Martinez, S. 1982. Catalogo sistematico de los insectos fósiles de América del Sur. Revista de la Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias, Serie Ciencias de la Tierra,1: 29–83.
Melchor, R.N., Genise, J.F. & Miquel, S.E. 2002. Ichnology, sedimentology and paleontology of Eocene calcareous paleosols from a palustrine sequence, Argentina. Palaios17: 16–35.
Radies, D., Hasiotis, S.T., Preusser, F., Neubert, E. & Matter, A. 2005. Paleoclimatic significance of Early Holocene faunal assemblages in wet interdune deposits of the Wahiba Sand Sea, Sultanate of Oman. Journal of Arid Environments62: 109–125.
Retallack, G. 1991. Miocene Paleosols and Ape Habitats of Pakistan and Kenya. viii, 346 pp. Oxford University Press, Claredon Press, New York and Oxford.
Sánchez, M.V., Bellosi, E.S., Laza, J.H. & Genise, J.F. 2007. Evolución de la icnofauna terrestre de la Patagonia central V. Formacion Sarmiento, la explosión del Eoceno medio. Resúmenes de la Quinta Reunión Argentina de Icnología y Tercera Reunión de Icnología del Mercosur. Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuergo, Argentina: 41.
Sánchez, M.V., Laza, J.H., Bellosi, E.S. & Genise, J.F. 2005. Comparación preliminar del registro fósil e icnofósil de Scarabaeinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).Libro de Resúmenes, VI Congreso Argentino de Entomología, San Miguel de Tucumán, 12 al 15 de Septiembre de 2005. Page 120.
Sánchez, M.V., Laza, J.H., Bellosi, E.S. & Genise, J.F. 2006. The integration of ichnofossil and body fossil records in Scarabaeinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).Resumenes de la VII Reunión Latinoamericana de Scarabaeoidología, 13–16 Noviembre de 2006, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. 20.
Sauer, W. 1965. Geología del Ecuador. 385 pp., annex. Ministerio de Educación, Quito. 
Verde, M. 2000. Trazas fósiles de artrópodos en el Uruguay. Abstracts, I Simpósio Brasileiro de Paleoartropoología, I Simpósio Sudamericano de Paleoartropodología, I International Meeting on Paleoarthropodology, Ribeirão Preto – SP, Brazil 3–8.9.2000. Pages 112–113.
Verde, M. & Genise, J.F. 2007. Evolución de la icnofauna terrestre de la Patagonia Central IV. Formación Asencio del Terciario temprano de Uruguay: ¿El antecedente de la explosión del Eoceno medio en la Patagonia? Resúmenes de la Quinta Reunión Argentina de Icnología y Tercera Reunión de Icnología del Mercosur. Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuergo, Argentina. 40 pp.
Verde, M., Ubilla, M., Jiménez, J.J. & Genise, J.F. 2007. A new earthworm trace fossil from paleosols: aestivation chambers from the Late Pleistocene Sopas Formation of Uruguay. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 243: 339–347.

Case: 
Volume/Issue: 
Taxonomic Group(s): 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith