TitleA new subfamily of Cretaceous antlike stone beetles (Coleoptera : Scydmaenidae : Hapsomelinae) with an extra leg segment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsPoinar, GO, Brown, AE
JournalProceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Volume106
Pagination789-796
Type of ArticleJournal Article
ISSN0013-8797
Abstract

A new subfamily, genus, and species of antlike stone beetles (Coleoptera: Scydmaenidae: Hapsomellinae: Hapsomela burinitis) are described from Cretaceous Burmese amber. The forelegs of the fossil contain a patella, the major character on which the new subfamily is based. The patella is regarded as an example of functional morphology and probably served in the capacity of catching and/or holding down prey, probably mites, since all extant members of this family are mite predators. This character appears to have been specific to this clade of antlike stone beetles, since no other members (extinct or extant) of the family have a patella. Another unusual character of H. burmitis is the extended abdomen and elongate strongly sclerotized ovipositor, thus allowing eggs to be inserted into cracks or soft tissue. The significance and occurrence of the extra leg segment in this group of beetles is discussed in relation to Paleozoic insects and modern arthropods.

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