First Permocarboniferous insects (blattids) from North Africa (Morocco) - implications on palaeobiogeography and palaeoclimatology

by Driss Hmich, Rabat; Jörg W. Schneider, Freiberg; Hafid Saber, El Jadida & Mohamed El Wartiti, Rabat


HMICH, D.; SCHNEIDER, J.W.; SABER, H. & EL WARTITI, M. (2003): First Permocarboniferous insects (blattids) from North Africa (Morocco) - implications on palaeobiogeography and palaeoclimatology. - Freiberger Forschungshefte C 499: Paläontologie, Stratigraphie, Fazies (11): 117-134; Freiberg.


In the Late Palaeozoic Hercynian Souss Basin of the High Atlas Mountains west of Agadir the first North African Permocarboniferous entomofauna has been discovered. Dominating insects are blattids ("cockroaches") belonging to the families Mylacridae, Spiloblattinidae, Phylloblattidae and Poroblattinidae. Most common are mylacrids identified as Opsiomylacris thevenini (MEUNIER), a species which is known from the higher Stephanian (Upper Pennsylvanian) of the Commentry Basin in the French Massif Central. This species could represent the earliest form of a phylomorphogenetic lineage or trend leading to increasing xeromorphism in opsiomylacrids, which is well known from the topmost Pennsylvanian/lowermost Permian up to higher Lower Permian (Artinskian/Kungurian) of Europe. The flora of the insect horizons contains typical Stephanian taxa as well as meso- to xerophilous forms, which are characteristic for the European Lower Permian. Several authors, including SABER et al. (1995) and BROUTIN et al. (1998) and others have pointed out the close relationship of the C/P macro- and microfloras of Morocco and Europe, resulting from the immigration of Eurasian elements into northern Gondwana. The data presented here show that Euramerian plants and insects had already settled in North Gondwana latest in the Early Stephanian. An interesting question that still remains to be solved is, from where the migration took really place - from Eurameria to North Gondwana or from the margins of the palaeotropical Europe, like the Moroccan northern Gondwana, to central Eurameria. However, such migrations were climate-governed and multi-storied.