Sunday 2 June 2013

A new species of Fly from the Mid-to-Late Jurassic of Inner Mongolia.

The True Flies, Diptera, are one of the most successful groups of insects, with around 240 000 described species and a fossil record that dates back to the Triassic. They can be distinguished from other Insects with 'fly' in their names by only having a single pair of wings, the forewings, the hindwings having been reduced to a pair of halteres, which act as gyroscopes during flight. Only the adult Fly has wings; Flies undergo a complete metamorphosis on reaching maturity, the larvae being a worm-like caterpillar. 

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 6 November 2012, Junfeng Zhang of the College of Palaeontology at Shenyang Normal University and the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences describes a new species of Fly from the Daohugou Formation of Ningcheng County in Inner Mongolia.

The new Fly is considered to be sufficiently distinct to be placed in a new Family, the Orientisargidae (Eastern Flies) and given the specific name Orientisargus illecebrosus, meaning the Enchanting Eastern-Fly. Orientisargus illecebrosus is an elongate, slender Fly, slightly over 12 mm in length, preserved as part and counter-part on limestone slabs.

Orientisargus illecebrosus, part and counterpart, holotype, female, dorsal view. Scale bars 1 mm. Zhang (2012).

Orientisargus illecebrosus, line drawing. Scale bar is 1 mm.

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