TitleVirola dominicana sp nov (Myristicaceae) from Dominican amber
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPoinar, GO, Steeves, R
Type of ArticleJournal Article

The Myristicaceae is a member of the early diverging angiosperm order Magnoliales; however, the family is poorly represented by fossil collections. We describe Virola dominicana sp. nov. (Myristicaceae), the first record of fossilized Myristicaceae flowers, from mid-Tertiary (45-15 million years ago) Dominican amber. The description is based on 24 male flowers in 17 pieces of amber, thus providing some indication of intraspecific variation, including a two-tepaled flower. Diagnostic characters of the new species are the long-simple or few-branched trichomes on the perianth margins, the small pollen grains, and a short staminal column. These fossils also show co-occurring insects, some of which could be Virola pollinators. It is speculated that V. dominicana disappeared from Hispaniola during the Pliocene-Pleistocene cooling events leaving no native members of the Myristicaceae in this region today. Additionally, these fossils demonstrate that Myristicaceae was present in the Western Hemisphere during the mid-Tertiary.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000322581700005