||Bridging the gap between chewing and sucking in the hemipteroid insects : new insights from Cretaceous amber
Yoshizawa, Kazunori ,
245 , 2016-02-12 , Magnolia Press
The diversity of feeding apparatuses in insects far exceeds that observed in any other animal group. Consequently, tracking mouthpart innovation in insects is one of the keys toward understanding their diversification. In hemipteroid insects (clade Paraneoptera or Acercaria: lice, thrips, aphids, cicadas, bugs, etc.), the transition from chewing to piercing-and-sucking mouthparts is widely regarded as the turning point that enabled hyperdiversification of the Hemiptera, the fifth largest insect order. However, the transitional process from chewing to piercing-and-sucking in the Paraneoptera was hitherto completely unknown. In this paper, we report a well preserved mid Cretaceous amber fossil of the paraneopteran insect family Archipsyllidae and describe it as Mydiognathus eviohlhoffae gen. et sp. n. This species has elongate mandibles and styliform laciniae similar to Hemiptera but retains functional chewing mouthparts. A number of morphological characters place the Archipsyllidae as the sister group of the thrips plus hemipterans, which strongly suggests that the mouthparts of M. eviohlhoffae represent a transitional condition from primitive chewing to derived piercing-and-sucking mouthparts. The clade composed of Archipsyllidae, thrips, and hemipterans is here named Pancondylognatha, a new supra-ordinal taxon. Based on newly obtained information, we also assess the monophyly of the Paraneoptera, which was called into question by recent phylogenomic analyses. A phylogenetic analysis that includes Mydiognathus strongly supports the monophyly of the Paraneoptera.