Friday 25 November 2016

Lasiosmylus longus: A new species of Lacewing from the Early Cretaceous of Liaoning Province, China.

Lacewings, Neuroptera, are a widespread and diverse group of Insects soft bodied Insects noted for their predatory larvae. They first appeared in the Permian, and reached their maximum diversity in the Mesozoic, when they appear to have filled many ecological niches occupied by other Insect groups today. There are about 6000 extant species, though not all are closely related, with several very ancient lineages with only a small number of species.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 24 November 2016, Bingyu Zheng, Dong Ren and Yongjie Wang of the College of Life Sciences at Capital Normal University describe a new species of Lacewing from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China.

The new species is placed in the genus Lasiosmylus and given the specific name longus, refering to the long slender wings of the species. The species is described from a single specimen, 16.3 mm in length with a forewing length of 22.7 mm. The body is only faintly preserved, but the wings are clearly preserved allowing comparison to other species of Cretaceous Lacewings.

Lasiosmylus longus. (A) Habitus photograph, (B) hp, humeral plate (left hindwing), (C) line drawing. Scale bars: 5 mm (A), (C), 1 mm (B). Zheng et al. (2016).

The genus Lasiosmylus was previously described from a single species, Lasiosmylus newi, and assigned to the family Osmylidae (Osmylids), but latter transferred to the Ithonidae (Moth Lacewings, Giant Lacewings and Montane Lacewings). Zheng et al. also describe nine new specimens of Lasiosmylus newi, providing further information on this species.

New materials of Lasiosmylus newi. (A) Composite photographs of habitus of part and counterpart; hp, humeral plate, (B) line drawing, (C) habitus photograph; hp, humeral plate, (D) line drawing. Scale bars: 5 mm. Zheng et al. (2016).

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