Index to the known fossil insects of the world, including myriapods and arachnids

Bulletin 71




With the view of furthering study in the too neglected field of fossil insects, I transmit herewith for publication the card catalogue of described fossil insects which I have used for twenty years and kept constantly up to date, and which has greatly facilitated my own researches. It is believed to be practically complete. At least where insects are figured, and in many other cases where they are the first or only references from a given locality, entries are given where only the genus, the family, or even the order is mentioned. This has been done because the early literature of fossil insects is essentially vague and general, but it should not for that reason be wholly overlooked ; and to-day our knowledge of the occurrence of insects of a particular locality, even when of recent discovery, is not infrequently confined to statements of a general nature, which, if not brought to view or mind in a list like this, would be lost sight of, while their recognition may lead to further local investigation, to the earlier benefit of science.

It is in no sense a systematic catalogue, and except occasionally in the notes contains no immediate results of investigation. No questions of synonymy are settled. The entries are made as the authors quoted gave them, with only the corrections of spelling required; it follows that the same insect appears at several points, to which the student is referred by full cross-references, and that more than one insect may (though probably rarely does) figure under one name. In one or two such instances, where the same name has been given by inadvertence to two totally different creatures, the later one is separated from the earlier.

For convenience' sake, the entries are grouped into large sections, nearly identical with those I have employed in my systematic review of fossil insects (Bulletin 31, U. S. Geological Survey), by which method the insects from the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary rocks are kept distinct; but otherwise the entries are purely alphabetical under the orders. It should be noticed, however, that the vague references to groups higher than genera are brought together at the beginning of each alphabet, first the most vague, and then those which permit some alphabetization. In these cases the primary or secondary alphabetization is first by authors, second by dates, and in all cases where under one entry there is more than one date the order therein is chronological.

In a previous bulletin (Bulletin 69, U. S. Geological Survey) is given a complete bibliography of the literature from which these entries are taken, and the two works are thus complementary to each other.

Additional publication details

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Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Index to the known fossil insects of the world, including myriapods and arachnids
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U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
744 p.