Matthews J.V.1, Jr., Telka A.2, Kuzmina S.A.3 2019. Late Neogene insect and other invertebrate fossils from Alaska and Arctic/Subarctic Canada // Invertebrate Zoology. Vol.16. No.2: 126–153 [in English].

1 1 Red Maple Lane, Hubley, N.S., Canada B3Z 1A5. E-mail:

2 PALEOTEC Services – Quaternary and late Tertiary plant macrofossil and insect fossil analyses, 1-574 Somerset St. West, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 5K2, Canada. E-mail:

3 Laboratory of Arthropods, Borissiak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Profsoyuznaya 123, Moscow, 117868, Russia. E-mail:

doi: 10.15298/invertzool.16.2.03

ABSTRACT: This report concerns macro-remains of arthropods from Neogene sites in Alaska and northern Canada. New data from known or recently investigated localities are presented and comparisons made with faunas from equivalent latitudes in Asia and Greenland. Many of the Canadian sites belong to the Beaufort Formation, a prime source of late Tertiary plant and insect fossils. But new sites are continually being discovered and studied and among the most informative of these are several from the high terrace gravel on Ellesmere Island. One Ellesmere Island locality, known informally as the “Beaver Peat” contains spectacularly well preserved plant and arthropod fossils, and is the only Pliocene site in Arctic North America to yield a variety of vertebrate fossils. Like some of the other “keystone” localities discussed here, it promises to be important for dating and correlation as well as for documenting high Arctic climatic and environmental conditions during the Pliocene.

Arthropod fossils are becoming increasingly valuable for dating and correlation of Arctic Neogene sites. Such assemblages of fossils will ultimately prove valuable for dating and interpretation of deep scientific boreholes drilled in the Arctic. Furthermore, the Tertiary fossils discussed aid in dating Quaternary deposits in the North American Arctic, because they show how Tertiary faunas differ from those of Quaternary age. The faunas mentioned in this paper also aid in definition of former biotic gradients enhance our understanding of the history of the boreal and tundra biome. The earliest evidence for tundra is in the Pliocene at 80° N, not in the late Miocene as some have suggested. The boreal realm of the Pliocene was qualitatively different from that of the present and much more extensive latitudinally.

KEY WORDS: Arctic, Neogene, Arthropods, Insects, fossils, tundra, boreal forest.

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