Saturday 1 March 2014

Two new species of Helorid Wasps from the Middle Jurasic Jiulongshan Formation of Inner Mongolia.

Helorid Wasps are small, black, parasiotoid Wasps, with larvae that develop inside the bodies of the young of Green Lacewings. The group has a long fossil record, with the earliest known specimens being found in the Middle Jurasic Jiulongshan Formation of Inner Mongolia, but only about twelve modern species, found scattered across the globe.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 13 January 2014, Xiaoqing Shi, Yunyun Zhao, Chungkun Shih and Dong Ren, all of the College of Life Science at Capital Normal University in Beijing describe two new species of Helorid Wasps from the Jiulongshan Formation near Daohugou Village in Inner |Mongolia. Both of these new species are placed in the genus Archaeohelorus, which has previously been described from these deposits.

The Daohugou Beds of the Jiulongshan Formation are a fossil Lagarst├Ątte from Ningcheng County in Inner Mongolia, which have produced a large number of well preserved Middle Jurassic Vertebrates, Insects, Plants and other fossils. The fauna has been considered to be part of the Jehol Biota, but is now generally considered to be slightly earlier. The deposits formed in lake surrounded by a moist, warm-temperate forest, dominated by Conifers, Ginkos and Cycads

The first new species is named Archaeohelorus polyneurus, meaning 'many veins', a reference to the veination of the hind wing. Archaeohelorus polyneurus is a 6.5 mm Wasp described from a two almost complete specimens.

Two specimens of Archaeohelorus polyneurus from the Jiulongshan Formation. Shi et al. (2014).

The second new secies is named Archaeohelorus tensus, meaning 'stretched', or 'long', a reference to the shape of the forewing. The species is described from a single, 4.4 mm male speciemen preserved as part and counterpart.

Archaeohelorus tensus, part (top) and counterpart (bottom), with detail of the terminal segments of the counterpart inset. Shi et al. (2014).

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