J Syst Evol ›› 2014, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (1): 68-74.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12060

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

European fossil fruits of Sphenotheca related to extant Asian species of Symplocos

1Steven R. MANCHESTER* 2Peter W. FRITSCH   

  1. 1(Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida 32611, USA)
    2(Department of Botany, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California 94118, USA)
  • Received:2013-05-09 Published:2014-01-14

Abstract: We are compelled to sink the European fossil fruit genus Sphenotheca Kirchheimer into extant Symplocos based on newly recognized morphological and anatomical similarity with the fruits of extant Symplocos tanakae Matsum. of Japan and Symplocos henryi Brand of SW China. Recognition of Symplocos incurva (Kirchheimer) comb. nov. and Symplocos bornensis (Mai) comb. nov. increases the number of late Paleogene and Neogene European species of Symplocos to 13. The close relationship between this fossil species and extant species of the Symplocos lucida clade of eastern Asia suggests that migration of this group between Europe and Asia was facilitated by the closure of the Turgai Strait that commenced during the Oligocene.

Key words: China, Germany, Japan, Miocene, Oligocene, Symplocaceae.