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The systematic of the fossil bee nest ichnogenus Uruguay from the Uruguayan Cretaceous or lower Tertiary is reviewed and two new ichnospecies of a new ichnogenus, Rosellichnus, are proposed for fossil bee nests from the Miocene of the United Arab Emirates and Patagonian Argentina. Uruguay contains U. auroranormae (the ichnotype) and U. rivasi, which differs from the type ichnospecies in having clustered cells arranged in three rows, with one central and two marginal rows of subparallel cells. No bee nest architecture known to us unequivocally fits with any ichnospecies described herein. Uruguay was constructed in the subsoil and may be of halictid origin; however, its large cell size, thick cell walls, and the presence of a vestibular cell do not fit the architecture of nests of extant halictids. Rosellichnus arabicus lacks the complete cavity surrounding the cell cluster that is typical in nests of Old World halictids, but it may, nonetheless, still be of halictid origin. R. patagonicus has an architecture more similar to nests of anthophorine bees than to those of Neotropical Halictidae. Therefore, the ichnogenus Rosellichnus may include both halictid and anthophorine constructions. Although the smooth inner cell walls, spiral cell caps, and clustering of cells indicate that both Uruguay and Rosellichnus are trace fossils of bee origin, it is likely that both represent nest architectures that are no longer employed by extant bees, or those that are as yet unknown. The paleoenvironments of both the Argentine and Emirates species of Rosellichnus indicate that the trace-makers of this ichnogenus constructed their nests in open ground sandy soils. ?? 1996 OPA (Overseas Publishers Association) Amsterdam B.V. Published in The Netherlands by Harwood Academic Publishers GmbH.
Additional Publication Details
Uruguay Roselli 1938 and Rosellichnus, n. ichnogenus: Two ichnogenera for clusters of fossil bee cells