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Article
Published: 2021-02-26

Are wounded-tree beetles living fossils? A new nosodendrid genus from Burmese amber with bilobed tarsi (Coleoptera: Nosodendridae)

School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TQ, UK
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, and Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, and Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, and Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TQ, UK
Coleoptera Nosodendron Nosoglobulus Mesozoic Myanmar morphological disparity

Abstract

Nosodendridae, the wounded-tree beetles, are a small polyphagan family with less than 100 described species placed into two extant and one fossil genera. Here we describe a new nosodendrid genus and species, Mesonosa scandens gen. et sp. nov., from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber from northern Myanmar (ca. 99 Ma). The new genus differs from extant nosodendrids in its bilobed tarsomeres 2–4, as well as putatively plesiomorphic characters such as strongly protuberant compound eyes and relatively elongate prosternum. The distinctly lobed tarsi are a unique feature within Nosodendridae, and likely represent an adaptation for climbing plants. The discovery of a third wounded-tree beetle genus from the Mesozoic indicates that while their body plan remained relatively conserved since the Cretaceous, nosodendrids have been more ecomorphologically diverse in the geological past than the present day, and thus are an example of a true “living fossil” lineage.

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