[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Fleas, the most notorious insect ectoparasites of human, dogs, cats, birds, etc., have recently been traced to its basal and primitive ancestors during the Middle Jurassic. Compared with extant fleas, these large basal fleas have many different features. Although several fossil species with transitional morphologies filled the evolutionary blank, the early evolution of these ectoparasites is still poorly known.ResultsHere we report a new flea with transitional characters, Pseudopulex tanlan sp. nov., assigned to Pseudopulicidae, from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China. Different from the previously described pseudopulicids, P. tanlan has relatively smaller body size but lacking any ctenidia on the tibiae or body, while the male with comparatively smaller and shorter genitalia. On the other hand, P. tanlan has some characters similar to the transitional fleas of saurophthirids, such as, a small head, short compacted antennae, small pygidium and many stiff setae covering the body.Conclusions
Even though other possibilities can not be ruled out, the female specimen with extremely distended abdomen suggests that it might have consumed its last meal before its demise. Compared with other reported female flea fossils, we calculate and estimate that P. tanlan sp. nov. might have consumed 0.02 milliliter (ml) of blood, which is about 15 times of the intake volume by extant fleas. These new findings further support that fleas had evolved a broad diversity by the Early Cretaceous.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Blood-feeding insects, as vectors of disease for humans and livestock alike, have garnered significant interest [1, 2], but our understanding of their early evolution is hindered by the scarcity of available material and the difficulty in distinguishing early hematophages from non-blood-feeding relatives. Here, we report a new family of true bugs including two new genera and species from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation in Northeastern China. By utilizing geochemical methods for determining their diets and combining morphological and taphonomic data, we demonstrate that these new species represent the earliest evidence of blood feeding among true bugs, extending the geological record of such lineages by approximately 30 million years. Remarkably, one of the bugs appears to have perished immediately following a blood meal, which may have been from coexisting mammals, birds, or avian-related dinosaurs. These records expand the phylogenetic and ecological diversity of blood-feeding insects in the Early Cretaceous, enriching our knowledge of paleoecological associations in these ancient environments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nygmata are prominent glandular structures on the wings of insects. They have been documented in some extant insects, including several families of Neuroptera and Mecoptera, the majority of Trichoptera, and a few of the hymenopteran Symphyta. However, because nygmata are rarely preserved in compression fossils, their early development and evolution are still enigmatic. For example, the only documented nygmata in the Hymenoptera are on the forewings of the Triassic xyelids Asioxyela paurura and Madygenius primitives.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new genus with two new species, Scabolyda orientalis gen. et sp. nov. and Scabolyda incompleta sp. nov., assigned to the subfamily Juralydinae in the family Pamphiliidae are described and illustrated. They were collected from the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation and the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation in northeastern China. They represent the first fossil pamphiliids described from China.
Alcheringa An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology 06/2014; 38. · 1.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new genus with a new species, Archaulacus probus gen. et sp. nov., and two new species, Praeaulacus subrhombeus sp. nov., P. tenellus sp. nov., belonging to the subfamily Praeaulacinae (Praeaulacidae) are described and illustrated. The specimens were collected from the Middle Jurassic of Jiulongshan Formation at Daohugou in Inner Mongolia, China. Archaulacus gen. nov. differs from other genera of Praeaulacinae in having the first abscissa of Rs of the fore wing subvertical to R and 2m-cu slightly basad of 2r-m. This is the first time that these characters are reported for the Praeaulacinae. Based on new information provided by the new species, an updated key to the known species of Praeaulacus is provided.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Kalligrammatidae are distinctive, large, conspicuous, lacewings found in Eurasia from the Middle Jurassic to mid Early Cretaceous. Because of incomplete and often inadequate fossil preservation, an absence of detailed morphology, unclear relationships, and unknown evolutionary trends, the Kalligrammatidae are poorly understood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new earwig genus with a new species, Cylindopygia falcata gen. et sp. nov., is described and illustrated based on two well-preserved, nearly complete female specimens from the Lower Cretaceous, Yixian Formation in Huangbanjigou, Liaoning Province, China. C. falcata is assigned to Pygidicranidae mainly due to the following characters: head obtuse-triangular with posterior margin straight, abdomen robust, subcylindrical and densely setose, and femora compressed and carinate. The new finding represents the earliest fossil record of Pygidicranidae and the first record of Pygidicranidae in China.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pre-Cenozoic representatives of the coleopteran family Cerambycidae are practically little known. The discovery of a well-preserved fossil of longhorn beetle in the Lower Cretaceous (about 122 Ma) lacustrine deposits of the Yixian Formation in Western Liaoning, China, is the second record of Mesozoic Cerambycidae. We assign this specimen to a new genus and species, Sinopraecipuus bilobatus gen. et sp. nov., but are unable to place it with confidence in any existing subfamily of Cerambycidae due to the insufficient morphological evidence available from the specimen.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genus Rudisiricius Gao, Rasnitsyn, Shih & Ren, 2010 is emended. Six new species, R. ferox sp. nov., R. ater sp. nov., R. tenellus sp. nov., R. parvus sp. nov., R. membranaceous sp. nov. and R. validus sp. nov., are described and illustrated. These well-preserved specimens were all collected from the Jehol Biota, Early Cretaceous, Yixian Formation of Huangbanjigou Village in Liaoning, China. Based on the new morphological data, a key of Rudisiricius is provided. These insects are all males that possess larger body length, stronger mandibles and thicker scapes than other Praesiricidae. These new findings and morphological characters enhance our understanding of the evolution and relationships of the enigmatic family Praesiricidae.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new species, Cimbrophlebia rara sp. nov., in the family Cimbrophlebiidae (Mecoptera) is described and illustrated. This specimen was collected from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation at Liutiaogou in Inner Mongolia, China. This is the first record of a cimbrophlebiid from the Jehol biota. A key to all species of Cimbrophlebia is given. A preliminary review of published taxa data indicates that from the Middle Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous, Mecoptera became less diverse and less abundant in northeastern China at familiar level (from 11 to 6), generic level (from 32 to 8) and specific level (from 44 to 14).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The early history of Panorpidae (Mecoptera) is poorly known due to sparse fossil records. Up to date, only nine fossil species have been described, all from the Paleogene, except the Early Cretaceous Solusipanorpa gibbidorsa Lin, 1980. However, we suggest S. gibbidorsa is too incompletely preserved to permit even family classification. A new genus with two new species, Jurassipanorpa impunctata gen. et sp. n. and Jurassipanorpa sticta sp. n., are described based on four well-preserved specimens from the late Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China. These two new species are the earliest fossil records of Panorpidae. The new genus is erected based on a combination of forewing characters: both R1 and Rs1 with two branches, 1A reaching posterior margin of wing distad of the forking of Rs from R1, and no crossveins or only one crossvein between veins of 1A and 2A. In all four specimens, long and robust setae ranging from 0.09 to 0.38 mm in length and pointing anteriorly, are present on anal veins of forewings. The function of these setae is enigmatic.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two new species, Eotrichocera (Archaeotrichocera) longensis sp. n. and Eotrichocera (Archaeotrichocera) amabilis sp. n. of Trichoceridae are described based on a combination of the following characters: Sc ending proximad of the forking of R2, shape of d cell and A2 rather short and bending sharply toward posterior margin. These fossil specimens were collected from the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Daohugou in Inner Mongolia, China.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Mesozoic hemipteran family Archegocimicidae Handlirsch is newly diagnosed and its fauna in China revised based on abundant new material. The complicated taxonomic history of the family is reviewed and the following taxonomic changes proposed: Propritergum opimum Zhang, Engel, Yao & Ren gen. et sp. nov.; Longianteclypea gen. nov.; Longianteclypea tibialis (Popov), comb. nov.; Mesolygaeus naevius (Hong), comb. nov.; Sinolygaeus Hong, synonym of Mesolygaeus Ping; and Enicocoris manlaicus Popov, Xishania fusiformis Hong, Jiaodongia maershanensis Hong, and Xishania? jiangxiensis Hong all synonyms of Mesolygaeus laiyangensis Ping. Living and fossil representatives of the infraorder Leptopodomorpha are coded for the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the clade. The resulting cladogram supports the recognition of the constituent superfamilies Saldoidea and Leptopodoidea, the former containing Saldidae, Aepophilidae and Archegocimicidae, and the latter Palaeoleptidae, Omaniidae and Leptopodidae.http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:BCB8B92B-D67C-457F-A55F-10BF3A9D3D82
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 01/2014; 12(1). · 2.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new species, Procretevania mitis sp. nov., is described from the Early Cretaceous of Yixian Formation at the Huangbanjigou, Beipiao City, western Liaoning, China. Based on new morphological data, a key of Procretevania Zhang and Zhang, 2000 is provided. Forewing venations, body and forewing lengths, localities and horizons of various genera of Evaniidae in amber and compression fossils are summarized for comparison. Evaniidae have a high degree of venational diversity, while more complex forewing venations for Lebanevania and Mesevania suggest that they may represent the stem group of the Evaniidae. High diversity of Evaniidae in the Early Cretaceous implies that Evaniidae might have radiated before the Early Cretaceous. Furthermore, comparison of body and forewing lengths of amber and fossil genera indicate that the amber specimens have relatively smaller size.
Cretaceous Research 01/2014; 47:48–55. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two new fossil species, Archaeohelorus polyneurus sp. n. and A. tensus sp. n., assigned to the genus Archaeohelorus Shih, Feng & Ren, 2011 of Heloridae (Hymenoptera), are reported from the late Middle Jurassic, Jiulongshan Formation of Inner Mongolia, China. Based on the well-preserved forewings and hind wings of these specimens, the diagnosis of the Archaeohelorus is emended: forewing 2cu-a intersecting Cu and Rs+M at the same point or postfurcal, and hind wing may have tubular veins C, Sc+R, R, Rs, M+Cu, M and Cu distinct, or simplified venation. The new findings also elucidate the evolutionary trend of forewing and hind wing venation and body size for the Heloridae from the late Middle Jurassic to now.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large female spider, Nephila jurassica, was described from Middle Jurassic strata of north-east China and placed in the modern genus Nephila (family Nephilidae) on the basis of many morphological similarities, but, as with many ancient fossils, the single specimen lacked synapomorphies of the family (Selden et al. 2011). In order to test the placement within the nephilid phylogenetic tree, Kuntner et al. (2013) calibrated the molecular phylogeny using N. jurassica in three different scenarios based on inferred mitochondrial substitution rates. They concluded that N. jurassica fitted better as a stem orbicularian than a nephilid. Now, a giant male spider has been discovered at the same locality that yielded N. jurassica. The two sexes are considered conspecific based on their similar morphological features, size, and provenance. The male cannot be accommodated in Nephilidae because of its pedipalp morphology, so the new genus Mongolarachne and family Mongolarachnidae are erected for the species. Comparison with possibly related families show that Mongolarachnidae is most likely on the orbicularian stem, close to other cribellate orbicularians (e.g., Deinopoidea), which suggests a greater diversity of cribellate orbicularians during the Middle Jurassic.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insects have been in existence for at least 400 million years. These relatively small-sized terrestrial arthropods, along with their durable cuticle, have allowed them to be preserved in compression fossils and ambers. Based on insect fossils collected in northeastern China (i.e. Liaoning, Inner Mongolia and Hebei), at least 19 orders and nearly 300 species have been reported (Ren et al. 2010). Paleoentomology in China have made significant progress in recent years.
Many insects have close interactions with plants, which are recorded on fossils. For example, Protonemestrius jurassicus had long siphonate mouthpart, suggesting its “flower” visiting habits, which is important for the study of the origin of angiosperms (Ren, 1998). A probable pollination mode before angiosperms was proposed based on the Eurasian, long-proboscid fossil scorpionflies from the Middle Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous, which fed on ovular secretions of extinct gymnosperms and engaged in pollination mutualisms with gymnosperms (Ren et al. 2009). Two extraordinary fossil lacewings demonstrated a preangiosperm origin for leaf mimesis, revealing a lost evolutionary scenario of interactions between insects and gymnosperms (Wang et al., 2010). Lately, a near-perfect mimetic association and potential mutualism between a mecopteran species and a ginkgoalean plant species from the late Middle Jurassic of northeastern China has been discovered, suggesting that hangingflies developed leaf mimesis either as an antipredator avoidance device or possibly as a predatory strategy to provide an antiherbivore function for its plant hosts (Wang et al., 2012). Besides feeding on leaves and plant matters, a katydid, Archaboilus musicus was reported to produce low-pitched musical songs, which are well-adapted to communication in the mid-Jurassic forest with coniferous trees and giant ferns (Gu et al. 2012).
On insect association with vertebrates, two well-preserved fossil ectoparasitic insects have been found in the mid-Mesozoic of China, exhibiting many features of ectoparasites. Large body size and long serrated stylets for piercing tough and thick skin or hides of hosts suggest that these primitive ectoparasites might have lived on and sucked the blood of relatively large hosts, such as contemporaneous feathered dinosaurs and/or pterosaurs or medium-sized mammals (Gao et al., 2012). A new transitional flea, Saurophthyrus exquisitus, has a series of translational characters in between those of Pseudopulicidae and living fleas suggesting it might have lived and fed on blood of the pterosaurs or other host vertebrates (Gao et al., 2013).
Based on the coexisting plants and other animals, we established a structure of the ecosystems of the Yanliao Biota and Jehol Biota respectively. Insects played important roles in maintaining food chains and ecological successions, in circulation of substances and global flow of energy.
Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting 2013; 11/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new genus with a new species, Sinohelorus elegans gen. et sp. nov., is described and assigned to the subfamily Mesohelorinae, Heloridae. In addition, two new species, Gurvanhelorus beipiaoensis sp. nov. and Spherogaster saltatrix sp. nov., are also described. The diagnoses of GurvanhelorusRasnitsyn, 1986 and SpherogasterZhang and Zhang, 2001 are emended based on new materials and findings. These well-preserved specimens were collected from the Jehol Biota, Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Huangbanjigou Village in Liaoning, China. These new species broaden the diversity of this family and enhance our understanding of evolutionary trend of helorid’s metasomal structure, antenna, and forewing venation from the Middle Jurassic to extant.
Cretaceous Research 09/2013; 41:136–142. · 1.63 Impact Factor