Examining a fragment of the Rovno amber, scientists from and Ukraine have described a new species of beetles of skrytogo from the late Eocene. As noted in the press service of the Moscow state University received by the editors N + 1, discovery helped to restore the early stages of the evolution of the genus Telmatophilus. A scientific paper detailing the discovery published in the journal Invertebrate Zoology.
Amber is a valuable source of paleontological information. It often find fragments of ancient plants, well-preserved insects and other invertebrates, and sometimes even body parts of larger animals. The most famous Baltic amber, however, in recent years the most high-profile — and sometimes controversial — opening brings the study of samples from Myanmar.
Rovno amber, which is mined in the Rivne region of Ukraine, known much less. Experts call it the southern counterpart of the Baltic amber and dated to the period of late Eocene (about 40 million years ago). Research Rovno samples began relatively recently, but has helped to describe several new species of insects: beetles, lacewing (Neuroptera) and verbluda (Raphidioptera).
Employee of the Zoological Museum of Moscow state University Georgy Lyubarsky (Lyubarsky G. Yu.) and his colleague from the Ukrainian Institute of Zoology named Schmalhausen Evgeny Perkovsky (Perkovsky E. E.) studied a fragment of the Rovno amber, found in the flood plain fun. It was concluded small beetle. The sample was very high quality and sufficiently transparent in order to examine in detail the anatomical features of an insect.
Scientists have determined that the beetle belongs to the family of skrytogo (Cryptophagidae). Externally it was very similar to modern beetles Telmatophilus typhae. However, some features, including relatively long antennae and the structure of the legs, allowed to attribute the discovery to a new kind of the same kind. The species got the scientific name Telmatophilus sidorchukae — in honor of the deceased in the past year employee of the Paleontological Institute of RAS Ekaterina Sidorchuk, a specialist in fossil mites. Developed techniques used in the processing of the sample.
According to lubarsky, the beetle from Rovno amber is the first fossil representative of the genus Telmatophilus. Before that was the only known living species (recently described beetle T. britannicus , the authors consider incorrectly defined and refer to the genus Cryptophilus).
The discovery helped to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the genus Telmatophilus. Unlike other members of the family, these beetles do not feed on mold and fungi, and pollen of cattail (Typha) and euholognatha (Sparganium). Reproduction of telmatophilus closely associated with the life cycle of host plants. The female lays eggs on submerged leaf of a plant, and after three days the larvae, which feed on pollen. Through 16-19 days they pupate, and after a few weeks from the pupa emerges the adult beetle. The whole cycle of reproduction is laid in July-August.
According to the authors, the beetles of the genus Telmatophilus arose in the late Eocene, when the background of global cooling climate in Northern Eurasia appeared numerous lakes, where they spread cattail, half-sunk agegraphic and other marsh plants. Age T. sidorchukae confirms this hypothesis.
Earlier we wrote about how scientists from China used a sample of Burmese amber, to restore the color of Mesozoic insects. It turned out that the ancient wasps, flies and beetles were blue-green. Perhaps this painting served as his camouflage.