Insects and Plants of the South East Queensland Coal Measures (Triassic)

Queensland Museum

Many of the insects that lived in the Triassic forests are easy to recognise and could be compared with insects found in backyards today.

The insects at this time were similar in size to modern faunas. Most of the insects that have been collected are wings, or fragments of wings, with the occasional body fossils.  Thousands of insect wings have been collected in south-east Queensland, and new discoveries are continually being made by collectors.  The most important and diverse Triassic faunas have been collected from the Mount Crosby Beds from the Esk Formation and the Ipswich Coal Measures in south-east Queensland.

Wing of a Triassic bug, Mesogereon superbum from Ipswich.

Fossil wasp, Archexyela ipswichensi.

Fossil true bug wing, Eoscartoides bryani.

Fossil wasp wing

A fossil wasp showing two forewings and part of the thorax

A fossil scorpion fly hindwing, Mesopsyche triareolata.

Forewing of fossil scorpion fly, Mesopsyche triareolata.

Wings of fossil scorpion fly. Almost complete right forewing and fragmentary left forewing, part only. Mesoses gayndah

Holotype of a fossil leaf hopper
Tennentsia princeps

Wing of a fossil leaf hopper
Tennentsia evansi

Railway cutting portion with cockroach forewing
Triassablatta triquestra

Ginkgoites from the Triassic Period
Today Ginkgophytes are represented by a single living species, Ginkgo biloba, from China. This plant has the characteristic dissected foliage and male and female reproductive structures that distinguish this group of plants. While reproductive structures are rare, foliage that is similar to that of modern Ginkgoes are common in the Triassic Period and various genera and species have been named. Some fossil leaves seem indistinguishable from the modern Ginkgo and are referred to as Ginkgoites.

Impression fossil of a leaf
Ginkgo wintonensis

Plant fern fossils
Tecaropteris aquaincola
Credits: Story

Images and text from: In Search of Ancient Queensland.
Principal Authors: Dr Alex Cook and Dr Andrew Rozefelds.
Published by the Queensland Museum, 2015.
Photographers: Peter Waddington, Geoff Thompson.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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