A new species of fossil silky lacewing insects that lived more than 120 million years ago

Oct 05, 2011
This is the new fossil species, Undulopsychopsis alexi. Credit: Prof. Dong Ren

A team of researchers from the Capital Normal University in Beijing (China) and the Institute of Biology and Soil Sciences in Vladivostok (Russia) has discovered a remarkable silky lacewing insect from the Mesozoic of China. The study has been published recently in the open access journal ZooKeys and is available for free download.

The extant silky lacewings (the family Psychopsidae) may be recognized by their broad wing shape, dense venation, spectacularly patterned and hairy wings. Today, this family is very small, restricted only to , southeastern Asia and Australia, but in the Mesozoic, it was much more widely distributed.

The new fossil silky lacewing - Undulopsychopsis alexi - was found from in the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning Province, one of the most productive Mesozoic fossil-bearing horizons in . The species is characterized by the undulate wing margin, a unique condition amongst known Psychopsidae, and a number of unusual characters of the wing venation.

"The most important trait of this fossil is that it shares the features of two different families of neuropteran , the extant Psychopsidae (known also from the Mesozoic) and the extinct Mesozoic Osmylopsychopidae", said the author Vladimir Makarkin.

This discovery is expected to shed light on the of lacewings related to the family Psychopsidae.

Explore further: Rare whale fossil pulled from California backyard

More information: Peng Y, Makarkin V, Wang X, Ren D (2011) A new fossil silky lacewing genus (Neuroptera, Psychopsidae) from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of China. ZooKeys 130: 217-228. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.130.1576

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Paleontologists discover a new Mesozoic mammal

Oct 08, 2009

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA…An international team of paleontologists has discovered a new species of mammal that lived 123 million years ago in what is now the Liaoning Province in northeastern China. ...

Mysterious fossils provide new clues to insect evolution

Jul 19, 2011

German scientists at the Stuttgart Natural History Museum were leading in the discovery of a new insect order from the Lower Cretaceous of South America. The spectacular fossils were named Coxoplectoptera by the ...

Early cretaceous birds with crops found in China

Sep 06, 2011

The crop is characteristic of seed-eating birds today, yet little is known about its early history despite remarkable discoveries of many Mesozoic seed-eating birds in the past decade. Scientists from Institute ...

Recommended for you

How dinosaurs shrank, survived and evolved into birds

14 hours ago

That starling at your birdfeeder? It is a dinosaur. The chicken on your dinner plate? Also a dinosaur. That mangy seagull scavenging for chips on the beach? Apart from being disgusting, yet again it is a ...

Shrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birds (w/ Video)

Jul 31, 2014

A new study involving scientists from the University of Southampton has revealed how massive, meat-eating, ground-dwelling dinosaurs evolved into agile flying birds: they just kept shrinking and shrinking, ...

User comments : 0