Sunday 3 November 2013

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

The Split-foot Lacewings (Nymphidae) are the oldest group of Neuropteran Insects (Lacewings and their allies), with a fossil record dating back to the Jurassic. They are considered to be more closely related to the Antlions and Owlflies than to other Lacewings. Like other Neuropterans they have two pairs of well developed wings with many veinlets, giving them a net- or lace-like appearance, and undergo complete metamorphosis, with a larvae that lacks wings and bears little resemblance to the adult.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 20 August 2013, Vladimir Makarkin of the College of Life Sciences at Capital Normal University in Beijing and the Institute of Biology and Soil Sciences at the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Qiang Yang, Chaofan Shi and Dong Ren, all also of the College of Life Sciences at Capital Normal University, describe a new species of Split-foot Lacewings from the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Daohugou Village in Inner Mongolia. The species is described as part of a wider study into the use of wing veinlets in Neuropteran classification.

The new species is named Daonymphes bisulca, where 'Daonymphes' means the nymph from Daohugou and 'bisulca' means forked or split in two, a reference to the structure of the wing vienlets. Daonymphes bisulca is described from a single forewing (not unusual in Insects, where taxonomy is often based entirely on wing-structure) 29 mm in length.

The wing of Daonymphes bisulca. Photograph (top) and line drawing (bottom). Abreviations: AA, analis anterior; AP, analis posterior; Cu, cubitus; CuA, cubitus anterior; CuP, cubitus posterior; M, media; MA, media anterior; MP, media posterior; R, radius; RA, radius anterior; RP, radius posterior; RP1, proximalmost branch of RP; rv, recurrent veinlet; ScP, subcosta posterior. Scale bars are 10 mm. Makarin et al. (2013).

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