ADVERTISEMENT

Strange Dracula Wasp With Large Mandibles in Fossil Amber From Myanmar From Ca. 99 Mio. Years Ago Shows Features of Different Wasp Families, Questioning Current Delimitation of Taxa

Once more, an unexpected fossil insect has been discovered in fossil amber from Myanmar — commonly called Burmese amber. The wasp, which now was described as Supraserphites draculi gen. sp. nov. (see Fig. 1), shows characteristics of two different families, Serphitidae and Archaeoserphitidae.

Because of several characteristics common with Serphitidae, the new genus has been placed in this family, however, due to several strong differences (f. ex. antenna with 10 instead of up to 8 flagellomeres, very long maxillary and labial palpi of subequal length, and a more complete wing venation), a new subfamily had to be created, Supraserphitinae, and the diagnosis of Serphitidae has accordingly been amended.

ADVERTISEMENT
Figure republished with permission from Elsevier from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2018.12.006

The only other serphitoid family, Archaeoserphitidae, also displays common morphological features with the new wasp. For example, Archaeoserphitidae display two petiolar segments of subequal length, head details, such as antenna placed high above mandibles and subvertical position of the clypeus, and larger numbers of flagellomeres compared to other Serphitoidae.

These new findings show that delimitations of taxa in Serphitoidea are rather unclear and that the group might require a future revision.

The large mandibles of the new wasp species — the only known species of this new subfamily so far — and its generally strange morphology gave the reason for choosing the new species name, Supraserphites draculi, referring to Count Dracula.

Similar to a vast number of other recently discovered new families and orders, this wasp is only known from the Burmese amber assemblage, therefore, it very likely is endemic to the West Burma plate, which again suggests that the biota were geographically isolated at the time, and that the plate collided at a later time with the proto-Southeast-Asian mainland (also see: Alexandr Rasnitsyn and Christoph Öhm-Kühnle: Three new female Aptenoperissus from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Hymenoptera, Stephanoidea, Aptenoperissidae): Unexpected diversity of paradoxical wasps suggests insular features of source biome, in Cretaceous Research 91, 168-175, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2018.06.004).

ADVERTISEMENT
These findings are described in the article entitled New serphitoid wasp Supraserphites draculi gen. sp. nov. in Burmese amber (Hymenoptera, Serphitidae: Supraserphitinae), recently published in the journal Cretaceous Research. This research was conducted by Alexandr Rasnitsyn from the Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow (Paleontological Institute) and the Natural History Museum London, and Christoph Öhm-Kühnle from the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen. https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S019566711830332X

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

Difference Between Mitosis And Meiosis

The difference between mitosis and meiosis is in the process by which each form daughter cells from a parent cell. […]

Photophobia And Magnetism: First Date For An Interesting Liaison

Photophobia describes an experience of discomfort or pain in response to light conditions. In normal conditions, it can be provoked […]

Teaching T Cells Where To Go: Immune-Derived Acetylcholine Facilitates Migration Into Infected Tissues

Most people think of acetylcholine as a neurotransmitter, a substance that is produced by nerve cells to relay signals between […]

Temporal And Spatial Aspects Of The Hurst Phenomenon In Precipitation

The Hurst phenomenon is a behavior observed in geophysical processes in which wet or dry years are clustered during long time […]

Pulmonary Artery Catheterization Use And Mortality In Heart Failure Patients  

The current study is the first to show that the use of pulmonary artery catheterization (PAC) declined from 2005 to […]

Endocan: Can It Predict Post-Operative Pneumonia?

Patients undergoing cardiac surgery, such as coronary artery bypass graft or valve replacement surgery, may be prone to suffer from […]

Is NH3 Polar Or Nonpolar?

Ammonia, chemical formula NH3, is a colorless gas frequently used in the production of fertilizer, as a cleaning chemical, and […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?