Friday, 23 May 2014

A new species of Osmylid from the Middle Jurassic Daohugou Biota of Inner Mongolia.

Osmylids (Osmylidae) are a group of Neuropteran Insects with a fossil record dating back to the Early Jurassic and are still in existence today. They appear to have been at their most numerous and diverse in the Middle-Late Jurassic, with a number of lineages apparently disappearing at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary. The earliest known forms do not appear greatly different from extant species, making assessment of the groups ancestry somewhat difficult, though some specimens recovered from the Middle Jurassic Daohugou Biota of Inner Mongolia resemble the more ancient Neuropteran family Archeosmylidae, which is known only from Permian and Triassic fossils.

In a paper published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica on 20 March 2012, Vladimir Makarin of the College of Life Sciences at Capital Normal University, and the Institute of Biology and Soil Sciences at the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Qiang Yang and Dong Ren, also of the College of Life Sciences at Capital Normal University, describe a new species of Osmylid from the Middle Jurassic Daohugou Biota of Inner Mongolia.

The new species is given the name Archaeosmylidia fusca, where ‘Archaeosmylidia’ means ‘ancient Osmylid’ and ‘fusca’ means ‘dark’. The species is described from a single nearly complete forewing; Insect forewing’s being considered highly indicative and sufficient for the erection of new species.

Forewing of Osmylid Neuropteran Insect Archaeosmylidia fusca (Osmylidae) from the Jiulongshan Formation of Daohugou, China. Photograph (A) and line drawing of venation (B). Scale bars are 5 mm. Abbreviations: 1A, 2A, anal veins; C, costa; CuA, anterior cubitus; CuP, posterior cubitus;MAand MP, anterior and posterior branches of media (M); ng, nygma; R1, first branch of radius (R); Rs, radial sector; Sc, subcosta. Makarin et al. (2012). 

While confident that Archaeosmylidia fusca belongs within the family Osmylidae, Makarin et al. cannot confidently assign it to any of the ten described subfamilies within the group. Instead they suggest that the venation of Archaeosmylidia fusca appears primitive compared to other members of the group, and probably reflects the ancestral state seen in the oldest, unknown, members of the group. They further note that it also resembles some members of the older group Archeosmylidae, strengthening claims of a relationship between the two groups.

See also…

 A new species of Snakefly from the Middle Jurassic of Inner Mongolia.

Snakeflies (Raphidioptera) are a group of carnivorous flying insects related to the Lacewings, Antlions and Alderflies. They have long life cycles, with a number of larval stages, but still feed as adults...



 A new species of Split-foot Lacewing from the Middle Jurassic of Inner Mongolia.

The Split-foot Lacewings (Nymphidae)...

 Two new species of Dustywing from Tertiary amber.

The Dustrywings (Coniopterygidae) are small (usually under 5 mm) Insects related to Lacewings and...


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