The first authentic weevil fossils known from Australia, and the oldest known from the southern hemisphere, are described and illustrated on the basis of two specimens recovered from the Upper-Jurassic Talbragar Fish Bed in New South Wales. Talbragarus averyi gen. et sp. n. is classified in the family Nemonychidae based on the presence of scutellary strioles on the elytra, the length and insertion of the antennae and the shape of the eyes, prothorax, legs and overall body. An assignment of Talbragarus to a subfamily of Nemonychidae is not possible due to the lack of preservation of crucial characters, but it may represent the subfamily Rhinorhynchinae, which is still extant in Australia. Talbragarus was probably associated with the dominant plant species found in the Talbragar Fish Bed, the araucariaceous Podozamites jurassica, and may have fed on its pollen as adults and larvae as extant Australian Nemonychidae do, indicating that this insect-plant association may have survived in Australia from Jurassic times.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Sep 2012|