Temporal range: Tiffanian to late Paleocene Paskapoo Formation, Alberta, Canada
LaPolla & Barden, 2018
LaPolla and Barden (2020) - The Paskapoo Formation in Alberta, Canada is of Paleocene age, and has yielded a variety of fossil arthropod specimens (Wighton 1980; Kevan et al. 1981; Baker and Wighton 1984; Wighton and Wilson 1986). Mitchell and Wighton (1979) first reported on a possible ant specimen from the Paskapoo Formation, but over the subsequent decades no further study was completed on the fossil. Here we describe this ant specimen. The specimen is of particular interest with respect to fossil ants because the age of the Paskapoo Formation has been estimated to be of Tiffanian to late Paleocene (60.2–56.0 million years old) (Fox 1990; Lerbekmo and Sweet 2000), placing it well within a critical time period after the Cretaceous—within the 23-million-year long gap between the last window into ant evolution in the Cretaceous and the heretofore earliest Cenozoic ants known from the Fur Formation.
This taxon was described from the Paskapoo Formation, Alberta, Canada (Tiffanian to late Paleocene).
The paleoclimate of the Alberta Plains of the Paleocene was likely warm-temperate, for which Fox (2011) speculated a similar modern habitat would be the current humid coastal plain of the southeastern United States. Based on a collection of largely aquatic adult and larval insect fossils, Mitchell and Wighton (1979) suggested the Blackfalds site where the fossil ant was discovered was a forested backswamp.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- †paskapooensis. †Napakimyrma paskapooensis LaPolla & Barden, 2018: 436, fig. 2 (w.) ALBERTA, CANADA.
- Borowiec, M.L., Moreau, C.S., Rabeling, C. 2020. Ants: Phylogeny and Classification. In: C. Starr (ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Insects (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_155-1).
- LaPolla, J.S., Barden, P. 2018. A new aneuretine ant from the Paleocene Paskapoo Formation of Canada. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 63 (3): 435–440 (DOI 10.4202/app.00478.2018).