Authors: Friðgeir Grímsson, Alexandros Xafis, Frank H. Neumann, Louis Scott, Marion K. Bamford, Reinhard Zetter
An ongoing re-investigation of the early Miocene Saldanha Bay (South Africa) palynoflora, using combined light andscanning electron microscopy (single grain method), is revealing several pollen types new to the African fossil record. One ofthe elements identified is Loranthaceae pollen. These grains represent the first and only fossil record of Loranthaceae inAfrica. The fossil pollen grains resemble those produced by the core Lorantheae and are comparable to recent Asian as wellas some African taxa/lineages. Molecular and fossil signals indicate that Loranthaceae dispersed into Africa via Asiasometime during the Eocene. The present host range of African Loranthaceae and the composition of the palynoflorasuggest that the fossil had a range of potentialhost taxa to parasitise during the early Miocene in the Saldanha Bay region.