Navigation Links
Fossils clarify the origins of wasps and their kin: alderfly ancestors, snakefly cousins

Wasps, bees, ants and relatives comprise the megadiverse insect order Hymenoptera, the third most speciose animal group on Earth, far surpassing the number of known vertebrate species. All the four most diverse orders of animals (beetles, butterflies, wasps, and true flies) belong to the group of insects with complete metamorphosis, i.e. having a dormant pupa, jointly known as Holometabola. Other holometabolans are lacewings, alderflies, dobsonflies, snakeflies, scorpionflies, fleas, and caddisflies. Hymenopterans are currently regarded as a very old lineage, which had been the first to separate from the holometabolan stem, the view supported by molecular evidence.

Eighty years ago the Russian entomologist Andrey Martynovwell known for naming the two major divisions of winged insects Palaeoptera and Neoptera, stressing the importance of the wing folding pattern for insect evolutionsuggested that wasps had arisen from snakefly-like ancestors.

New fossils, which are 260270 million years old, support his view, firmly attaching the wasp lineage to the lacewing (neuropteroid) branch of the holometabolan family tree and dating its origin no earlier than Late Permian. These fossils are the oldest known Megaloptera: alderfly-like Parasialidae, and a newly discovered closely related family Nanosialidae.

Dr Dmitry Shcherbakov, a fossil insect specialist at the Arthropoda Lab, founded by Martynov at the Borissiak Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow argues that parasialids gave rise to both wasps and nanonosialids, and the latter became the ancestors of snakeflies. Living alderflies, dobsonflies, and snakeflies represent remnants of the past diversity of archaic neuropteroids, which presumably had diverse lifestyles. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Parasialids were small to medium-sized; nanosialids were minute creatures 35 mm long and probably fed on jumping plant lice, common in the same fossil fauna. The earliest wasps, known from the mid-Triassic (about 240 million years ago), were rather small, too. "It appears that, early in their history," the author says, "the lineages of Megaloptera, Raphidioptera and Hymenoptera experienced miniaturization, which profoundly and irreversibly affected their body structure."


Contact: Dr. Dmitry Shcherbakov
Pensoft Publishers

Related biology news :

1. Feces fossils yield new insights into ancient diets and thrifty genes
2. Ancient fossils reveal how the mollusc got its teeth
3. Recent studies bring fossils and genes together to piece together evolutionary history
4. EARTH: Famous fossils and spectacular scenery at British Columbias Burgess Shale
5. Clam fossils divulge secrets of ecologic stability
6. Living fossils? Actually, sturgeon are evolutionary speedsters
7. Visualizing the past: Nondestructive imaging of ancient fossils
8. Researchers use CT and 3-D printers to recreate dinosaur fossils
9. RUB researchers clarify catalysis mechanism of cell growth protein Ras
10. Experts clarify conflicting criteria for diagnosing polycystic ovary syndrome
11. Mainz University coordinates new EU project on the origins of human settlement
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fossils clarify the origins of wasps and their kin: alderfly ancestors, snakefly cousins
(Date:6/14/2017)... 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several ... dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking ... During the event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they ... industries. France is ... with a 30 percent increase in the number of startups ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... SINGAPORE , May 5, 2017 ... has just announced a new breakthrough in biometric ... that exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform ... new smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group ... across finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, 2017 with ... ... Relations section of the Company,s website at  under "SEC ... . 2016 Year Highlights: Acquisition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt of ... develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the first ... (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. The ... to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series ... 2018. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population ... challenge of how to continue to feed a growing nation. At the same time, ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments ... consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis services for ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On ... and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The ... The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: