C. N. Gould


On the finding of fossil insects in the Comanche Cretaceous of Kansas.


Kansas Academy of Science, Transactions 16:284.


Copyright 2004-2009 by Mike Everhart

ePage created 08/31/2004 - Last updated 07/07/2009


LEFT: Fig. 104. Reconstruction of Lemmatophora, a protoperlarian from the Lower Permian of Kansas, with membranous prothoracic lobes and vestiges of gills along the sides of the abdomen. The venation is like that of the Recent stone flies. From original drawing by F. M. Carpenter. (Raymond, P. E. 1947. Prehistoric Life, Harvard University Press, 324  pp.


Wherein Professor Gould describes the discovery of insect wings from the basal portion of the Kiowa Shale (Albian, Early Cretaceous) in Clark County, Kansas. See Roy Beckemeyer's website for more information regarding insect fossils from Kansas.  See more about the work of Frank M. Carpenter here  and the spectacular fossil insect site at Elmo, Kansas.

284                           KANSAS ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.



      During the summer of 1897, while in the employ of the state university, the writer was visited at Belvidere, Kan., by Dr. S. W. Williston. We drove some

five miles southeast to the Black hills (Stokes hill of Cragin), and visited the

locality where Prof. Robert T. Hill and the writer first found dicotyledonous

leaves in the summer of 1894. Doctor Williston remarked that the presence of

fossil vegetation would indicate that insects might be found in the vicinity. An

hour or so was spent in looking over the various shale beds but nothing of importance was discovered.

     A few days after, while collecting shells in the vicinity, some shale was found

which apparently contained traces of insects' wings. They were sent to Doctor

Williston, who forwarded them to Professor Scudder, of Harvard University, the

best authority on fossil insects in America. Professor Scudder identified the

material as insects, but stated that on account of the poor state of preservation

he could not be sure of genus or species. These are, so far as known, the first

fossil insects discovered in the state.

     The locality is about one-fourth of a mile south of the natural corral, on the

ranch of Mr. Frank Abell. The horizon is Hill's No.6, or Prosser's No.11.

(See the University Geological Survey of Kansas, Vol. 2, p. 121.) The material

is described as "very black, sleek, argillaceous shale,  ‘paper shales’ of Hill,

sparingly fossiliferous in the lower part." It is immediately above Cragin’s

Champion shell bed, which is well developed in the locality. Persistent work in

the shales will doubtless reveal an interesting fauna.