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Biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Fushun amber reveal further biotic links between Asia and Europe during the Eocene

Frauke Stebner, Ryszard Szadziewski, and Bo Wang

Plain Language Abstract

Three new species of biting midges in Eocene Fushun amber from China are described and turn out to have their closest relatives in European Baltic amber. This not only enlarges their distribution range from Europe to Asia but also strengthens the hypothesis that dispersal between both regions took place even though they were separated by the Turgai Strait during the time of formation of the amber deposits. In addition, the fossils supply further evidence for the age determination of Baltic amber, which is still a matter of debate.

Resumen en Español

Los ceratopogónidos (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) presentes en el ámbar de Fushun revelan más vínculos bióticos entre Asia y Europa durante el Eoceno

La investigación de fósiles en ámbar de Fushun, del Eoceno inferior de China, sigue demostrando su importancia para conocer la diversidad de insectos eocenos euroasiáticos y su distribución. Se describen tres nuevas especies de ceratopogónidos depredadores en los géneros fósiles Mantohelea y Gedanohelea. Mantohelea sinica n. sp., Gedanohelea fushunensis n. sp. y Gedanohelea liaoningensis n. sp.tienen sus parientes más cercanos en el ámbar europeo del Eoceno del Báltico. Esto no solo amplía el rango de distribución de géneros de Europa a Asia, sino que también refuerza la hipótesis de que la dispersión entre las dos regiones se llevó a cabo a pesar de que las masas de tierra euroasiáticas quedaron separadas por el estrecho de Turgai durante el Eoceno. Además, los fósiles suministran evidencias de que el ámbar Báltico tiene una edad Eoceno inferior.

Palabras clave: nuevas especies; ámbar de Fushun; ámbar del Báltico; Eoceno; Ceratopogonidae

Traducción: Enrique Peñalver (Sociedad Española de Paleontología)

Résumé en Français

Des brûlots (Diptera : Ceratopogonidae) dans l'ambre de Fushun révèlent de nouveaux liens biotiques entre l'Asie et l'Europe pendant l'Éocène

Les recherches sur les fossiles de l'Éocène inférieur de l'ambre de Fushun, Chine, continuent à être d'une importance majeure pour comprendre la diversité et la distribution des insectes éocènes européens et asiatiques. Trois nouvelles espèces de brûlots prédateurs des genres fossiles Mantohelea et Gedanohelea sont décrites : Mantohelea sinica n. sp., Gedanohelea fushunensis n. sp., et Gedanohelea liaoningensis n. sp. Les espèces les plus proches de ces nouveaux taxons proviennent de l'ambre éocène de la Baltique. Cela étend la distribution de ces genres de l'Europe à l'Asie et renforce également l'hypothèse selon laquelle une dispersion entre les deux régions a eu lieu même si les masses continentales d'Europe et d'Asie étaient séparées par le détroit de Tourgaï pendant l'Éocène. De plus, ces fossiles suggèrent un âge éocène inférieur pour l'ambre de la Baltique.

Mots-clés : nouvelle espèce ; ambre de Fushun ; ambre de la Baltique ; Éocène ; Ceratopogonidae

Translator: Antoine Souron

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

Gnitzen (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) im Fushun Bernstein liefern weitere Hinweise auf einen Faunenaustausch zwischen Asien und Europa im Eozän

Die Untersuchung von Fossilien aus Fushun Bernstein des Unteren Eozäns Chinas erweist sich immer wieder als überaus bedeutend für die Bewertung der Diversität und Verbreitung Euro-Asiatischer Insekten im Eozän. Drei neue Arten prädatorischer Gnitzen der fossilen Gattungen Mantohelea und Gedanohelea werden beschrieben. Mantohelea sinica n. sp., Gedanohelea fushunensis n. sp. und Gedanohelea liaoningensis n. sp. haben ihre nächsten Verwandten im Baltischen Bernstein aus dem Eozän Europas. Die Funde vergrößern nicht nur das Verbreitungsgebiet dieser Gattungen von Europa nach Asien, sondern stützen auch die Hypothese, dass ein Faunenaustausch zwischen beiden Regionen stattfand, obwohl Europa und Asien zu dieser Zeit durch die Turgai Straße getrennt waren. Des Weiteren liefern die Fossilien Hinweise auf eine Entstehung des Baltischen Bernsteins im frühen Eozän.

Schlüsselwörter: neue Arten; Fushun Bernstein; Baltischer Bernstein; Eozän; Ceratopogonidae

Translator: Authors

Arabic

Translator: Ashraf M.T. Elewa

 

 

FIGURE 1. Photograph of Mantohelea sinica n. sp. from lower Eocene Fushun amber. 1. Mantohelea sinica n. sp., Holotype female NIGP156996. 2. Mantohelea sinica n. sp., head.

 figure1

FIGURE 2. Mantohelea sinica n. sp., Holotype female NIGP156996. 1. Antenna. 2. Wing. 3. Palpus. 4. Fore tibia. 5. Fore femur. 6. Tarsus of foreleg. 7. Tarsus of mid leg. 8. Tarsus of hind leg.

 figure2

FIGURE 3. Photograph of Gedanohelea fushunensis n. sp. and Gedanohelea liaoningensis n. sp. from lower Eocene Fushun amber 1. Gedanohelea liaoningensis n. sp., Holotype female NIGP156998. 2. Gedanohelea fushunensis n. sp., Holotype female NIGP156997. 3. Detail of wing of Gedanohelea liaoningensis n. sp. with tips of veins M1 and M2 marked. 4. Detail of wing of Gedanohelea fushunensis n. sp. with tips of veins M1 and M2 marked.

figure3 

FIGURE 4. Gedanohelea fushunensis n. sp., Holotype female NIGP156997. 1. Flagellum. 2. Wing. 3. Palpal segments 3-5. 4. Tarsomeres 4, 5 and claw of foreleg. 5. Tarsomeres 4, 5 and claw of mid leg. 6. Tarsomeres 4, 5 and claw of hind leg.

 figure4

FIGURE 5. Gedanohelea liaoningensis n. sp., Holotype female NIGP156998. 1. Flagellum. 2. Wing. 3. Palpal segments 3-5. 4. Tarsus of foreleg. 5. Tarsus of mid leg. 6. Tarsus of hind leg.

figure5 

FIGURE 6. Palaeogeographic locations of early Eocene insect faunas in (approximately 50 Ma) Baltic amber (B) from Europe and Fushun amber (F) from China (modified after Blakey, 2015).

figure6

 

 

TABLE 1. Key to the species of Mantohelea .

1. Fore femur slightly swollen (Figure 2.5). Apex of fore tibia without prolongation M . sinica n. sp
-. Fore femur greatly swollen. Apex of fore tibia with distinct prolongation 2
2. Palpal segment 4 slightly shorter than palpal segment 3 M. laca (Meunier, 1904)
-. Palpal segment 4 almost 2 times shorter than palpal segment 3 M. gedanica Szadziewski, 1988


TABLE 2.
Key to the species of Gedanohelea.

1. Veins M 1 and M 2 strongly divergent (Figure 4.2) 2
-. Veins M 1 and M 2 slightly divergent (Figure 5.2) 3
2. Vein M 1 reaching wing margin at acute angle, palpal segment 3 spherical, claws of all legs short G. wirthi Szadziewski, 1988
-. Vein M 1 reaching wing margin exactly at right angle (Figure 4.2), palpal segment 3 cylindrical, claw of foreleg long G. fushunensis n. sp
3. Tarsomere 5 of foreleg as long as combined length of tarsomeres 2-4 G. succinea Szadziewski, 1988
-. Tarsomere 5 of foreleg distinctly shorter than combined length of tarsomeres 2-4 4
4. Palpal segment 3 spherical G. loewi Szadziewski, 1988
-. Palpal segment 3 cylindrical G. liaoningensis n. sp.
 

 

author1Frauke Stebner. Steinmann-Institut, Abteilung Paläontologie, Nussallee 8, 53115, Bonn, Germany. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frauke Stebner is a PhD student in the working group of Jest Rust at the Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn. She is a biologist with interests in (palaeo)entomology, amber research, and palaeoecology/ palaeobiogeography of Diptera.

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author2Ryszard Szadziewski. University of Gdańsk, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology, Wita Stwosza 59, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ryszard Szadziewski received his M.Sc. from University of Nicolaus Copernicus in Toruń, defended his Ph.D. in 1979 at the Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, and habilitation dissertation defended in 1987 at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In 1978 commenced his research and teaching work at the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology at the University of Gdańsk, since 1991 he has been head of this department. During his research he drew attention to a relatively little known family of flies – the biting midges, Ceratopogonidae. He became a world-famous specialist and taxonomist in both the recent as well as the fossil flies of this family. It was his idea to found the laboratory "Museum of Amber Inclusions" at the Department, to which he donated his collection of amber inclusions. He is involved in the promotion of knowledge about amber, its importance in discovering fossil flora and fauna, as well as the idea of Gdańsk as the World Capital of Amber. He is a member of the International Amber Association, Arbeitskreis Bernstein, the International Palaeoentomological Society, the Amber Museum Council, as well as the World Amber Council, whose president he has been since 2008.

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author3Bo Wang. State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
and Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China.

Bo Wang received his B.A. from the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), and his Ph.D. from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology (CAS). He is an Associate Professor at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology (CAS), and a Guest Professor at the Institute of Zoology (CAS). His research interests include the amber biota, and the taxonomy and taphonomy of fossil insects. Recently he has worked on some well-preserved insects from the mid-Cretaceous Burmese and Eocene Fushun ambers.

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