Friday 25 December 2015

Glenochrysa minima: A new species of Green Lacewing from Western Australia.

The Neuroptera, or Net-winged Insects, first appeared in the Permian and reached their maximum diversity in the Permian, when they were the most numerous Insects in many ecosystems. They are non-metamorphic Insects, in that they do not go through a dramatic metamorphosis on reaching maturity in the way that Butterflies or Wasps do, but rather the larvae grow progressively more like the adults with each molt Nevertheless the larvae are often quite different from the adults and may have quite different ecological roles. Today the Neuroptera are somewhat of a relic group, with many of the Jurassic groups having become extinct and most of the surviving groups having much lower diversity. One group that are still very successful today are the Green Lacewigs, Chrysopidae, with around 2000 species in about 85 genera found living around the world.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 1 December 2015, Shaun Winterton and Ivonne Garzón-Orduña of the California State Collection of Arthropods at the California Department of Food & Agriculture describe a new species of Green Lacewing from the El Questro-Emma Gorge Resort in northern Western Australia.

The new species is placed in the genus Glenochrysa, which is notable for the large finger-like prothoracic gland which protrudes from the back of the males as well as for often having distinctively patterned wings. Five species of this genus have previously been described from Australia, with another eleven known from tropical Africa, East Asia and the wider Austolasian region. It is named Glenochrysa minima, meaning small, due to its small size, with a forewing length of 7.5-7.8 mm, smaller than most other members of the genus.

Glenochrysa minima, male specimen in lateral view. Winterton & Garzón-Orduña (2015).

See also... Silky Lacewing from the Eocene of Washington State.                                        Silky Lacewings (Psychopsidae) are a group of Neuropteran Insects that are rare today, with only... 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... 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. Modern Snakeflies are found throughout Europe and Temperate Asia...
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