Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Sixteen new species of Scale Insects from Cretaceous and Eocene ambers.


Scale Insects are Hemipteran plant-parasites, closely related to Aphids. There are over 7900 living species, as well as an extensive fossil record, dating back to the Early Cretaceous. Most of the taxonomy of recent Scale Insects is based upon studies of the larger, wingless females, while most taxonomic studies of fossil groups has been based upon the smaller winged males, as these disperse in search of new females, and therefore are prone to becoming trapped in amber.

In a paper published in the American Museum Novitates on 16 January 2015, Isabelle Vea of the Richard Gilder Graduate School and Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History and DavidGrimaldi, also of the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, describe sixteen new species of Scale Insects from Early Cretaceous Lebanese Amber, Middle Cretaceous Burmese Amber, Early Eocene Cambay Amber and Middle Eocene Baltic Amber.

The first new species described is placed in a new genus, Pseudoweitschatus, meaning ‘similar to Weitschatus’, a previously described genus from Baltic Amber, which the new genus resembles and to which it is thought to be closely related. It is given the specific name audebertis, in honour of Vincent Audebert, Isobelle Rea’s high school biology teacher, for his inspiration to pursue a career in evolutionary biology, and in recognition of the role of science educators in inspiring future generations of scientists.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Middle Cretaceous Burmese Amber collected near Tanai Village in Kachin State, Myanmar. It is 1.76 mm in length, but significantly shrivelled, so that the original shape of the thorax is unclear. This species has two compound eyes, each with about 100 ommatidia, and ten-segmented antennae 1.30-1.33 mm in length. The wings are oval 1.55 mm in length, and 740 μm wide at their widest.

Dorsal view of Pseudoweitschatus audebertis. Abreviations: afp, anterior flexing patch; cr, cubital ridge; o, ocellus; pe, pedicel; pfp, posterior flexing patch; ps, penial sheath; pt, pterostigma; sc, scape; scr, subcostal ridge; td, tubular duct. Roman numerals indicate antennae segment numbers. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The second new species described is placed in a new genus, Kozarius, named in honour of the late Ferenc Kozár (1943–2013), for his contributions to the study of Scale Insects, and given the specific name perpetuus, meaning ‘continual’ or ‘continuing without interruption’.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Middle Cretaceous Burmese Amber collected near Tanai Village in Kachin State, Myanmar. It is 1.02 mm in length and has two large bulging compound eyes, each with 80-90 ommatidia, and 10 segmented antennae 480–535 μm in length. The wings are 660 μm long and 305 μm at their widest point.

Ventral view of Kozarius perpetuus. Abreviations: ae, aedeagus; bs, bristle; cr, cubital ridge; fe, femur; ha, hamulohaltere; pe, pedicel; pfp, posterior flexing patch; sc, scape; scr, subcostal ridge; tds, tubular duct secretion; ti, tibia; tr, trochanter; ts, tarsus. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The third new species described is also place in the genus Kozarius, and is given the specific name achronus, meaning ‘without time’, in reference to the timeless nature of specimens frozen in amber.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Middle Cretaceous Burmese Amber collected near Tanai Village in Kachin State, Myanmar.  It is 1.13 mm in length and has large protruding compound eyes with about 80 ommatidia each, and 9 segmented antennae 600–640 μm in length. The wings are 845 μm long and 90 μm wide at their widest point.

Ventral view of Kozarius achronus. Abreviations: ae, aedeagus; bs, bristle; ce, compound eye; cr, cubital ridge; ha, hamulohaltere; o, ocellus; pe, pedicel; pfp, posterior flexing patch; prtx, prothorax; sc, scape; scr, subcostal ridge; tds, tubular duct secretion. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The fourth new species described is placed in the genus Heteromargarodes, which currently includes three extent species from North America, and given the specific name hukamsinghi, in honour of Hukam Singh of the Birbal Sahni Institute for Palaeobotany, for his work on the fossils of the Cambay Shale and Cambay Amber.

The species is described from a single male specimen in a piece of Early Eocene Cambay Amber from the Tadkeshwar Lignite Mine in Gujerat State, India. The specimen is 1.6 mm long, with elongate, non-protruding compound eyes, each made up of about 30-40 large ommatidia. The antennae have at least 9 segments, though the tips of these are missing from the specimen. The wings are oval, 1.00 mm long and 570 μm wide at their widest point.

Heteromargarodes hukamsinghiin full ventral view. Abreviations: afp, anterior flexing patch; cl, claw; cr, cubital ridge; fe, femur; pfp, posterior flexing patch; pt, pterostigma; scr, subcostal ridge; ti, tibia; ts, tarsus. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The fifth new species described is placed in a new genus, Hodgsonicoccus, named in honour of Christopher Hodgson for his work on male Scale Insects, and given the specific name patefactus, meaning ‘discovered’ or ‘revealed’.

The species is described from a single specimen from Early Cretaceous amber from Bchare Mountain in northern Lebanon, thought to be a second or third instar nymph (a nymph is an immature Insect, an instar a life stage between moults). The specimen is 2.04 mm in length, with 10-15 large simple eyes. The antennae have 10 segments and are 1.56 mm in length. The specimen has no wings, as these are only present in adult male Scale Insects.

Hodgsonicoccus patefactus in lateral view. Abreviations: abds, abdominal setae; osc, ocular sclerite; prsc, prescutum. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The sixth new species described is placed in the genus Pityococcus, which previously includes three living species from North America and plus a specimen from Baltic Amber. It is given the specific name moniliformalis, meaning ‘necklace-shaped’, in reference to the segments of the antennae, which resemble beads.

The species is described from a single male specimen in Middle Eocene Baltic Amber, from the Palmnicken mines in Yantaryni on the Russian Baltic Coast. The specimen is 1.13 mm in length and has five pairs of simple eyes. The antennae are nine-segmented and 305–375 μm in length. The wings are oval, 780 μm long and 415 μm wide at their widest point.

Pityococcus moniliformalis in dorsal view. Abreviations: cr, cubital ridge; en, endophallus; mpnt, mesopostnotum; pe, pedicel; ps, penial sheath; prsc, prescutum; sc, scape; scr, subcostal ridge; sctl, scutellum. Roman numerals indicate antennae segment numbers. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The seventh new species is placed in the genus Apticoccus, which currently contains a single species from Early Cretaceous Lebanese Amber, and given the specific name fortis, meaning ‘strong’ in reference to its robust shape.

The species is described from a single male specimen in Early Cretaceous Amber from central Lebanon. It is 545 μm in length, and has a row of simple eyes on each side of the head; this probably contains six eyes on each side, but is hard to view due to a thin layer of bubbles covering the head. The antennae have ten segments and are about 220 μm in length. The wings are elongate, 620 μm long and 260 μm wide at their widest section.

Apticoccus fortis in dorsal view. Abreviations: cr, cubital ridge; pe, pedicel; prsc, prescutum; sc, scape; scr, subcostal ridge; se, simple eye; tsd, tarsal digitule. Roman numerals indicate antennae segment numbers. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The eighth new species is also placed in the genus Apticoccus, and is given the specific name longitenuis, meaning ‘long and thin’, in reference to the shape of the penal sheath.

The species is described from a single male specimen in Early Cretaceous amber from central Lebanon. The specimen is 615 μm long, with six simple eyes and ten segmented antennae, 300–320 μm in length. The wings are oval and 715 μm long and 135 μm wide at their widest point.

Apticoccus longitenuis in dorsal view. Abreviations: ae, aedeagus; cr, cubital ridge; pe, pedicel; prsc, prescutum; sc, scape; scr, subcostal ridge; sctl, scutellum. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The ninth new species described is placed in a new genus, Xiphos, for a type of double-edged sword used by Ancient Greeks, in reference to the shape of the penal sheath. It is given the specific name vani, in honour of Van Vea, the father of Isabelle Vea.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Early Cretaceous amber from central Lebanon. The specimen is 1.44 mm long and has a pair of protruding compound eyes, each with about 55–60 ommatidia. The antennae have ten segments and are 960–1000 μm long. The wings are suboval and 1135–1145 μm long and 460–465 μm at wide at their widest section.

Xiphos vani in dorsal view. Abreviations: pe, pedicel; sc, scape. Roman numerals indicate antennae segment numbers. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The tenth new species described is placed in a new genus, Alacrena, meaning ‘wing notch’ in reference to a distinctive notch on the wing, and given the specific name peculiaris, in reference to the peculiarity of that notch, as nothing similar has ever been recorded from any other Scale Insect.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Middle Cretaceous amber from near Tanai Village in Katchin State, Myanmar. The specimen is 990 μm in length and has a pair of large protruding compound eyes, probably with about 100 ommatidia, though this is difficult to determine. The antennae have ten segments and are about 450 μm long, the wings are rounded at the end with a distinctive notch, and 680 μm long, and 330 μm wide.

Alacrena peculiaris in dorsal view. Abreviations: adb, abdomen; ae, aedeagus; aln, alar notch; ce, compound eye; cr, cubital ridge; ha, hamulohaltere; o, ocellus; pe, pedicel; sc, scape; scr, subcostal ridge. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).


The eleventh new species described is placed in a new genus named Magnilens, meaning ‘large eye’, and given the specific name glaesaria, meaning ‘of amber’.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Middle Cretaceous amber from near Tanai Village in Katchin State, Myanmar. The specimen is 1.37 mm long and has seven pairs of large, protruding simple eyes. The antennae have ten segments and are 950 μm long, the wings are rounded, 1.28 mm long and 640 μm wide at their widest point.

Lateral view of Magnilens glaesaria. Abreviations: ae, aedeagus; cr, cubital ridge; dse, dorsal simple eye; fws, filamentous wax secretion; ps, penial sheath; ti, tibia; ts, tarsus; vse, ventral simple eye. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The twelth new species described is placed in a new genus, Pedicellicoccus, meaning ‘small foot’, in reference to the enlarged bubous foot of the species, and given the specific name marginatus, meaning ‘marginated’ in reference to the flat apical margin of the wing.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Middle Cretaceous amber from near Tanai Village in Katchin State, Myanmar. The specimen is 520 μm long, with at least five and possibly six pairs of simple eyes (this cannot be seen clearly due to the orientation of the specimen. The antennae are nine-segmented and 195–200 μm in length, the wings are broad and rounded distally, 500 μm long and 280 μm wide at the widest section.

Dorsal and view of Pedicellicoccus marginatus. Abreviations: en, endophallus; mpnt, mesopostnotum; ps, penial sheath; sctl, scutellum. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The thirteenth new species described is placed in a new genus named Williamsicoccus, in honour of Douglas Williams, for his contributions to Scale Insect systematics. It is given the specific name megalops, meaning ‘large eyes’.

The species is described from a single male specimen in Early Cretaceous amber from central Lebanon. The specimen is 775 μm in length and has two pairs of eyes, the lower pair being larger than the upper pair. The antennae have at least six segments, but are incomplete. The wings are long and thin with rounded tips, 885 μm long and 290 μm wide.

Dorsal view of Williamsicoccus megalops. Abreviations: dse, dorsal simple eye; mpnt, mesopostnotum; o, ocellus; pe, pedicel; prsc, prescutum; sc, scape. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The fourteenth new species described is placed in a new genus, Gilderius, named in honour of Richard Gilder, a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History, for his role in the creation of the Richard Gilder Graduate School. It is given the specific name eukrinops, meaning ‘well-separated’, in reference to the positioning of the ventral eyes.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Middle Cretaceous amber from near Tanai Village in Katchin State, Myanmar. The specimen is 840 μm long, though it is preserved in a bent position and may have been closer to 900 μm long in life. It has two pairs of large simple eyes, and ten-segmented antennae, 510–530 μm in length. The wings are narrow with rounded tips, 800 μm long and 400 μm wide.

Gilderius eukrinops in dorsal view. Abreviations: ae, aedeagus; dse, dorsal simple eye; fe, femur; o, ocellus; pe, pedicel; ps, penial sheath; sc, scape; ti, tibia; tr, trochanter; ts, tarsus; vse, ventral simple eye. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The fifteenth new species described is placed in a new genus, Rosahendersonia, named in honour of the late Rosa Henderson (1942–2012), for her work on the Insects of New Zealand. It is given the specific name prisca, meaning ‘ancient’.

The species is described from a single male specimen from Middle Cretaceous amber from near Tanai Village in Katchin State, Myanmar. The specimen is 535 μm in length, with two pairs of simple eyes. The antennae have ten segments and are 325–350 μm in length. The wings are 605 μm long with rounded tips.

Dorsal view of Rosahendersonia prisca. Abreviations: dse, dorsal simple eye; fe, femur; masc, membranous area on scutum; o, ocellus; pe, pedicel; sctl, scutellum; ti, tibia; ts, tarsus. Roman numerals indicate antennae segment numbers. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

The final new species described is placed in a new genus, Normarkicoccus, named in honour of Benjamin Normark for his work on Armoured Scale Insects (Diaspididae), and given the specific name cambayae, in reference to the Cambay Basin, from where Cambay Amber originates.

The species is named from a single male specimen in Early Eocene Cambay Amber from the Tadkeshwar Lignite Mines in Gujarat State, India. The specimen is 365 μm long, with two pairs of simple eyes. The antennae have ten segments and are 225–250 μm long. The wings are narrow with rounded tips, 420 μm long and 100 μm wide.

Normarkicoccus cambayae in dorsal view. Abreviations: cl, claw; dse, dorsal simple eye; ha, hamulohaltere; pe, pedicel; sc, scape; ti, tibia; ts, tarsus. Roman numerals indicate antennae segment numbers. Rea & Grimaldi (2015).

See also…

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/a-new-species-of-planthopper-from_17.htmlA new species of Planthopper from northern Vietnam.                                                                              Planthoppers, Fulgoromorpha,  are small members of the True Bug order Hemiptera, which also includes Aphids, Cicadas and Shield Bugs, amongst other Insects. The genus Paricanoides was erected in 2003 by Ai-Ping Liang of the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to describe two species of Planthoppers, one from southern Vietnam and one from northern Vietnam and Hainan Island...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/a-new-species-of-planthopper-from.html
A new species of Planthopper from Central Vietnam.                                                                      Planthoppers are small members of the True Bug order Hemiptera, which live by sucking sap from plants in a similar way to Aphids (which are also Hemipterans). In...


http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/the-sources-of-xixia-and-zhangpu-ambers.htmlThe sources of the Xixia and Zhangpu Ambers.                                                                          Amber is the mineralized remnants of resins secreted by ancient plants. It is valued by palaeontologists due to the frequent presence of preserved insects, pollen and soft-bodied micro-organisms within amber clasts; it is also widely used in the jewellery industry, and in...


 
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