Great Basin Naturalist


Late Quaternary-age arthropods were recovered from dry cave deposits and packrat middens located in the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, and Glen Canyon region of the Colorado Plateau. This Quaternary data resource has not been analyzed before from the Colorado Plateau national parks. Radiocarbon dates on the various deposits containing arthropods range from 1510 to 30,660 yr B.P. The fossil assemblages yielded 57 identified taxa of insects, arachnids, and millipedes, including 15 taxa taken to the species level. The information from the fossil insect record of the Colorado Plateau is not yet sufficiently detailed to permit precise paleoenvironmental reconstructions. However, preliminary conclusions suggest a cooler, moister climatic regime during the late Wisconsin glacial and a mosaic of vegetation types, such as grassland and shrubby communities, unlike the present vegetation at the localities.