Michael S. Engel's research while affiliated with University of Kansas and other places

Publications (838)

Article
Dermaptera (earwigs) are a small order of Polyneoptera, generally with a narrow and flattened body, a pair of trademark forceps and leathery forewings, a nocturnal preference, and an omnivorous diet. Fossil earwigs are rare, but records from amber have been increasing in the last decade or so. A new genus and its type species, Tricholabidura elonga...
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Climate change (CC) is expected to negatively impact global biodiversity and ecosystems, resulting in profound ecological impacts and placing complex networks of biological interactions at risk. Despite this worrying scenario, the existing knowledge deficiencies may be overcome with species distribution models (SDMs), providing estimates of the eff...
Article
A further species of the Cretaceous wasp family Falsiformicidae (Chrysidoidea) is described and figured from a male preserved in Upper Cretaceous (Turonian) amber from New Jersey. This represents the first occurrence of the lineage in the Western Hemisphere as well as the most recent taxon, with all others dating from the Cenomanian or earlier depo...
Article
New records of the Chaco Region cleptobiotic stingless bee Lestrimelitta ( Lestrimelitta ) chacoana Roig-Alsina are provided from Paraguay and northwestern Argentina at the western and eastern extremes of the greater Chaco, the latter at the transition from the humid Chaco to the Atlantic Coastal Forest. Notes on character variation are provided al...
Article
The Early Miocene (16–23 Mya) amber of Ethiopia constitutes a new source of fossil ants for Africa, where they are otherwise poorly documented. Here we report a diversified assemblage of six subfamilies and at least 19 genera that are still predominantly alive in the Afrotropics today. In this first account, a particular reference is made to the su...
Preprint
Termites (Blattodea: Isoptera) have evolved specialized defensive strategies for colony protection. Alarm communication enables workers to escape threats while soldiers are recruited to the source of disturbance. Here, we studied the vibroacoustic and chemical alarm communication in the wood roach Cryptocercus and in 20 termite species including se...
Article
The Late Paleozoic acquisition of wings in insects represents one of the key steps in arthropod evolution. While the origin of wings has been a contentious matter for nearly two centuries, recent evolutionary developmental studies suggest either the participation of both tergal and pleural tissues in the formation of wings1 or wings originated from...
Article
We describe two new species of Lophocoronidae: Acanthocorona hedida Zhang, Shih and Engel sp. n. and Acanthocorona venulosa Zhang, Shih and Engel sp. n., and an undetermined specimen from mid‐Cretaceous Kachin amber. Phylogenetic analysis of basal lepidopteran lineages, including three extinct families, was undertaken. The analysis supported monoph...
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Braconid parasitoid wasps are a widely diversified group today, while their fossil record from the Mesozoic is currently poorly known. Here, we describe Utrillabracon electropteron Álvarez-Parra & Engel, gen. et sp. nov. , from the upper Albian (Lower Cretaceous) amber of San Just in the eastern Iberian Peninsula. The holotype specimen is incomplet...
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As one of the largest families of beetles (Coleoptera), the Staphylinidae (rove beetles and their relatives) are rich not only in extant species but also in a comparatively robust fossil record. Despite this preponderance of available fossil material, fossils of the diverse subfamily Osoriinae remain rare. Here, we describe a new ososriine species,...
Article
Resource pulses, occasional events of ephemeral resource superabundance, represent a fundamental mechanism by which energy, nutrients, and biomass are transported across ecotones. They are widespread in extant ecosystems; however, little is known about their deep-time record. We report the earliest-known mayfly swarm from the Early Jurassic Xiwan b...
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In several insect eusocial lineages, e.g., some aphids, thrips, ants, some stingless bees, and termites, task specialization is brought to its climax with a sterile soldier caste solely devoted to colony defense. In Isoptera, while the reproductives are defenseless, the soldiers have unique morpho-physiological specializations whose origin and evol...
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Termites are major decomposers in terrestrial ecosystems and the second most diverse lineage of social insects. The Kalotermitidae form the second-largest termite family and are distributed across tropical and subtropical ecosystems, where they typically live in small colonies confined to single wood items inhabited by individuals with no foraging...
Article
A new fossil bee species, Liotrigona (Tapheiotrigona) aethiopica Engel, new subgenus and species, was described and figured from a worker preserved in Miocene amber from Ethiopia. The species represents the first fossil bee from Africa, predating the many subfossil occurrences otherwise known from Holocene copal and Defaunation resins. The new spec...
Article
A new fossil stag beetle (Lucanidae), Litholamprima qizhihaoi sp. nov., is described and figured from two well-preserved specimens from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation in western Liaoning, China (125 Ma). Aditionally, new material of female specimens of the genus Litholamprima Nikolajev & Ren, 2015 provide further evidence for the taxonomic p...
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A new subfamily of fossil auger beetles (Bostrichidae) is described and figured from mid-Cretaceous Kachin amber of northern Myanmar as Alitrepaninae subfam. nov., and currently including only the type genus and species: Alitrepanum aladelicatum gen. et sp. nov. The subfamily is distinguished from bostrichid lineages by a unique combination of char...
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Burrowing bugs are distinctive, beetle-like insects of the pentatomoid family Cydnidae, noteworthy for their morphological specializations for digging and a hemiedaphic life history. However, less is known about their biological significance and the early origin of soil dwelling. Direct fossil evidence illuminating the evolutionary history of soil...
Article
With some 3,700 described species, Dryopoidea are a moderately diverse superfamily of beetles whose position within basal Polyphaga has been historically difficult to elucidate. Members of most extant dryopoid families are set apart from the majority of other polyphagans by their association with aquatic habitats, but little is known about the orig...
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A correction is provided regarding the identity of a fossil larva recently reported to represent the first Cretaceous record of its kind for the tenebrionoid family Mordellidae (Coleoptera, tumbling flower beetles). A review of the description of the specimen, however, reveals it to be a larval symphytan (order Hymenoptera), and likely of the famil...
Article
The stingless bee genus Plectoplebeia Melo (Meliponini) is one of several lineages in the complex Plebeia -group of New World meliponines. The genus has hitherto been known from a single species of the Yungas forests of Bolivia, southern Peru, and northwestern Argentina. A second species is here described from a worker collected from the Eastern An...
Article
Termites are social cockroaches distributed throughout warm temperate and tropical ecosystems. The ancestor of modern termites roamed the earth during the early Cretaceous, suggesting that both vicariance and overseas dispersal may have shaped the distribution of early diverging termites. We investigate the historical biogeography of three early di...
Article
Raphidioptera, the group of snakeflies, is a rather species-poor in-group of Holometabola. Yet, fossils of snakeflies indicate that the group was more diverse in the past. Here we compare the morphological diversity of snakefly larvae over time. Snakefly larvae are well represented in Cretaceous and Eocene ambers facilitating such a comparison. We...
Article
Nuptial gift-giving is one of the most remarkable traits to have evolved among animal mating systems, and has brought about numerous hypotheses regarding their evolution and influence. Yet, their study has been confined to the modern fauna owing to their ephemeral nature and lack of traces on the environment suitable for preservation. Here we repor...
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Beetles constitute the most biodiverse animal order with over 380 000 described species and possibly several million more yet unnamed. Recent phylogenomic studies have arrived at considerably incongruent topologies and widely varying estimates of divergence dates for major beetle clades. Here, we use a dataset of 68 single-copy nuclear protein-codi...
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A new genus of minute stingless bees (Meliponini: Hypotrigonina) is described from Southeast Asia. Ebaiotrigona Engel & Nguyen, gen. nov. , is based on the type species Lisotrigona carpenteri Engel, recorded from Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and southern China. The species was previously considered an enigmatic member of Lisotrigona Moure, bu...
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Survei keragaman lebah propolis, preferensi bersarang, dan tanaman sumber pakannya dilakukan di Kabupaten Halmahera Barat pada 134 lokasi. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui keragaman spesies, pemilihan tempat bersarang dan habitatnya, dan jenis tanaman pakan dominan. Ditemukan tiga jenis lebah propolis, dan spesies yang paling banyak ditemu...
Article
Although specimens in fossil to Recent resins are remarkable for their fidelity of preservation, amber is well known and studied, unlike the younger resins as Pleistocene copal (2.58–0.0117 Ma) and Holocene copal (0.0117 Ma–1760 AD), or Defaunation resin, which is resin produced after 1760 AD. However, the scientific relevance of these younger resi...
Article
Mantis lacewings (Neuroptera: Mantispidae) are prominent and charismatic predatory representatives of Insecta. Nevertheless, representatives of the group are surprisingly scarce in Paleogene deposits after a relative abundance of specimens known from Creta-ceous. Here we present Mantispa? damzenogedanica sp. nov., representing the first adult of Ma...
Article
Alienopteridae are among the most perplexing fossil insects and once conspicuous members of Cretaceous Dictyoptera (now including cockroaches, termites and mantises). However, the precise nature of their life history, evolution, and phylogenetic affinities remained controversial and open to debate. Here we report new alienopterid nymphs from mid-Cr...
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The rapid Cretaceous diversification of flowering plants remains Darwin’s ‘abominable mystery’ despite numerous fossil flowers discovered in recent years. Wildfires were frequent in the Cretaceous and many such early flower fossils are represented by charcoalified fragments, lacking complete delicate structures and surface textures, making their si...
Article
Among the diversity of the stingless bee genus Scaptotrigona Moure (Apinae: Meliponini) there are a set of distinctive species distinguished from all others by their sparse and short bristles on the head and mesosoma, here treated as the tubiba species group. Four species are included in this group, two of which are new to Science: Scaptotrigona pa...
Article
A new genus and species are described and figured from the eastern pampas of Tandil, Argentina. Aenarete roigi Engel & Gonzalez, new genus and species, is quite similar to Spinolapis Moure (here used in a restricted sense), occurring in southern Chile, and particularly Patagoniapis Engel, new genus (type species: Pasiphae cyanea Cockerell) from fur...
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A new genus and species of fossil wood wasp is described and figured from mid-Cretaceous Kachin amber, representing the first occurrence of the family Xiphydriidae in the fossil record. Paraxiphydria resinata gen. et sp. nov. exhibits typical apomorphies of the family including a generally cylindrical body, elongate neck and dome-shaped head. Nonet...
Article
The avoidance of detection by predators and parasites is critical to survival. Two complex mechanisms for such avoidance are mimicry and camouflage, with fossils providing valuable insight into the evolution of these strategies. Such fossil evidence is, however, rare, and the frequent partial and lopsided occurrence. Here, we report a diverse insec...
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This protocol explains how to extract pollen from fossil insects with subsequent descriptions of pollen treatment. We also describe how to document morphological and ultrastructural features with light-microscopy and electron microscopy. It enables a taxonomic assignment of pollen that can be used to interpret flower-insect interactions, foraging a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Termites are social cockroaches distributed throughout warm temperate and tropical ecosystems. The ancestor of modern termites (crown-Isoptera) occurred during the earliest Cretaceous, approximately 140 million years ago, suggesting that both vicariance through continental drift and overseas dispersal may have shaped the distribution of early diver...
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The present study reports unique leaflets of a semi-aquatic fern (Marsileaceae) preserved in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar, and further describes the new species Marsileaceaephyllum ciliatum sp. nov. The new species has leaflets fan-shaped without a midvein, venation dichotomous and partially anastomosing, and possesses unique dense hairs from...
Conference Paper
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The study of extinct Cretaceous families of Hymenoptera is crucial as it provides unique glimpses into the diversification of the group during a dramatic period in evolutionary history. The †Serphitidae were a family of parasitoid wasps, with representatives distributed worldwide during the Cretaceous, ranging temporally from the Albian through the...
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We present here the first record of plant-insect interactions from an ephemeral volcanic island that was placed 150 km away from the nearest continental mass. The island was formed and destroyed during the Aalenian (Middle Jurassic) in a shallow sea of the southwestern Tethyan realm corresponding today to a place located in eastern Spain. These pla...
Preprint
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Background: Litsea, Lauraceae, is a group of evergreen trees or shrubs that widely distributed in tropical and subtropical countries, such as Asia and America. Species in Litsea are spontaneously distributed at a maximum altitude of 2,700 m from sea level. Pants and its extractions from Litsea species cover a wide range of medicinal and industrial...
Article
According to the Code currently in force, taxonomic works presenting nomenclatural novelties published on optical discs may be nomenclaturally available only if published between 1985 and 2013, and respecting some conditions allowing their nomenclatural promulgation. These works will remain accessible to readers only as long as the technologies all...
Article
According to the Code currently in force, taxonomic works presenting nomenclatural novelties published on optical discs may be nomenclaturally available only if published between 1985 and 2013, and respecting some conditions allowing their nomenclatural promulgation. These works will remain accessible to readers only as long as the technologies all...
Article
According to the Code currently in force, taxonomic works presenting nomenclatural novelties published on optical discs may be nomenclaturally available only if published between 1985 and 2013, and respecting some conditions allowing their nomenclatural promulgation. These works will remain accessible to readers only as long as the technologies all...
Article
The infrageneric classification of the stingless bee genus Melipona Illiger (Apinae: Meliponini) has historically consisted of four subgenera. Here a slightly expanded subgeneric system is presented in the context of a key to subgenera, with two new subgenera established: Meliponotes subgen. n. and Mouremelia subgen. n.
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Two new species of wood wasps (Anaxyelidae), Orthosyntexis elegans gen. et sp. nov. and Orthosyntexis thanti sp. nov. , are described from mid-Cretaceous Kachin amber. Orthosyntexis gen. nov. exhibits characters and character combinations unique to the family, such as the combination of two mesotibial spurs, a length ratio of forewing 1Rs to 1M<1,...
Article
The infrageneric classification of the orchid bee genus Euglossa Latreille (Apinae: Euglossini) has historically comprised six or seven subgenera and a plethora of species groups, many of which are demonstrably monophyletic. Nonetheless, challenges remain, particularly in relation to the subgenus Glossurella Dressler. Herein a new key to subgenera...
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Two new species of Archidermaptera are described and figured from the Middle Jurassic Jiulonghsan Formation of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China. Aneuroderma oiodes gen. & sp. nov. is described in the family Protodiplatyidae and Sinopalaeodermata concavum sp. nov. is established in the family Dermapteridae. Both new species share the typical characte...
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We present a phylogeny of Chrysopidae inferred from combining molecular and morphological data. Apochrysinae were recovered as sister to the rest of the family (Nothochrysinae and Chrysopinae). The monogeneric tribe Nothancylini is confirmed as sister to the remaining Chrysopinae. The other four tribes are grouped in two clades: Belonopterygini + L...
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We present a phylogeny of Chrysopidae inferred from combining molecular and morphological data. Apochrysinae were recovered as sister to the rest of the family (Nothochrysinae and Chrysopinae). The monogeneric tribe Nothancylini is confirmed as sister to the remaining Chrysopinae. The other four tribes are grouped in two clades: Belonopterygini + L...
Article
Insects comprise over half of all described animal species. Together with the Protura (coneheads), Collembola (springtails) and Diplura (two-pronged bristletails), insects form the Hexapoda, a terrestrial arthropod lineage characterised by possessing six legs. Exponential growth of genome-scale data for the hexapods has substantially altered our un...
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A new genus and species of webspinner, Galloembia raholai n. gen. et n. sp., is described from the earliest Eocene Oise amber of France. The species is currently the oldest record of the family, a taxon previously known from only as far back as the middle Eocene Baltic amber and an exceptionally dubious Eocene-Oligocene impression fossil of the cen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Specimens in fossil to Recent resins are remarkable for their fidelity of preservation. Amber is well known and studied, contrary to younger resins as Pleistocene copal (2.58-0.0117 Ma) and Holocene copal (0.0117 Ma—1760 AD), or Defaunation resin, which is resin produced after 1760 AD. The scientific relevance of these younger resins preserving art...
Article
A new genus of eodermapteran earwigs, Aglyptoderma gen. nov., is described from the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Inner Mongolia, China. It comprises two new species—Aglyptoderma elongatum gen. et sp. nov. and Aglyptoderma cylindratum gen. et sp. nov. The genus belongs to the family Semenoviolidae, hitherto known only from the Late Juras...
Preprint
Full-text available
Termites are major decomposers of organic matter in terrestrial ecosystems and the second most diverse lineage of social insects. The Kalotermitidae, the second-largest termite family, are widely distributed across tropical and subtropical ecosystems, where they typically live in small colonies confined to single wood items inhabited by individuals...
Preprint
Full-text available
The evolution of wings propelled insects to their present mega-diversity. However, interordinal relationships of early-diverging winged insects and the timescale of their evolution are difficult to resolve, in part due to uncertainties in the placement of the enigmatic and species-poor order Zoraptera. The 'Zoraptera problem' has remained a content...
Preprint
Full-text available
With over 380,000 described species and possibly several million more yet unnamed, beetles represent the most biodiverse animal order. Recent phylogenomic studies have arrived at considerably incongruent topologies and widely varying estimates of divergence dates for major beetle clades. Here we use a dataset of 68 single-copy nuclear protein codin...
Article
Full-text available
For almost 30 years, there have been active discussions about the taxonomic impediment and the challenge this represents to address the current human-induced biodiversity crisis. From the start (Systematics Agenda 2000, 1994), the term ‘taxonomic impediment’ has been ambiguous, designating both the insufficiency and inadequacy of the resources put...
Article
Electrobaissoptera liui sp. nov., a new species of the snakefly family Bassopteridae, is described and figured from an individual preserved in mid-Cretaceous amber from Tanai, northern Myanmar. Electrobaissoptera liui sp. nov. preserves nearly all of the known characters used to circumscribe the family and genus, and is unique among bassopterids fo...
Article
Termites (Isoptera) are among the most ecologically ubiquitous of terrestrial eusocial insects and provide an attractive environment for symbionts, which have evolved numerous times independently, and in lineages as diverse as millipedes and beetles. Previous studies reported the discovery of unequivocal termitophily in mid-Cretaceous amber from no...
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Among the many inclusions from the exceptionally rich fossiliferous amber of Zhang- pu, China (Middle Miocene: Langhian), stingless bees (Apinae: Meliponini) are particularly common, analogous to the merely slightly older amber sites of Mexico and the Dominican Re- public. While there is a large number of workers in Zhangpu amber, only two species...
Article
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Terrestrial isopods (Crustacea: Oniscidea) are a model group for studying the colonization of land. However, their fossil record is remarkably scarce and restricted to amber inclusions, and therefore amber deposits represent valuable windows to their past diversity and morphology. Here we present a new collection of 11 terrestrial isopod specimens...
Article
The diverse bee genus Psaenythia Gerstaecker (Panurginae, Protandrenini), hitherto known from central and southern South America, is recorded from northern South America for the first time. Two new species are described: Psaenythia diceratops , sp. n., from northeastern Colombia, and P . guaricoensis , sp. n., from central Venezuela. The males of P...