Prolystra lithographica

Период: Юра


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Гигантская юрская цикада из отложений Золенгофена. c. 150-145 mya. Palaeontinids had large bodies covered with bristles (setae). They had small heads and broad wings. They superficially resemble moths.[5][6] Large palaeontinids like Colossocossus had forewings that reached the length of 57 to 71 mm (2.2 to 2.8 in).[7] They possessed an inflated frons and a long rostrum (piercing and sucking mouthpart), indicating that they fed on xylem fluids like some other modern hemipterans.[8]


The host plants of palaeontinids have been assumed to be ginkgophytes based on the geographic distribution of both groups. The extinction of palaeontinids during Early Cretaceous has been linked to the decline of ginkgophytes at the end of the Mesophytic era (Late Permian to Middle Cretaceous) and the rise of angiosperms (flowering plants).[9][10] Numerous newly evolved insectivorous animals (feathered theropods, primitive mammals, and early birds) may have also contributed significantly to their extinction.[9]

Most species of palaeontinids exhibit cryptic coloration.[10] The patterns on their wings protected them as they perched on branches and fed on sap. They may also have served as secondary sexual characteristics. The color patterns can vary slightly within the same species.[8]

Palaeontinids, like modern cicadas, possess four membranous wings supported by veins. The length and width ratio of the wings can vary within the same species, sometimes as a result of fossil preservation.[8] Early Jurassic palaeontinids, like Suljuktocossus, exhibit the most primitive wing forms in the family.[11] The forewing was elliptical with the "nodal line" (the area where the wing bends during flight, also known as the "transverse flexion line") more or less dissecting through the center of the wing. The hindwing was short and broad. The bases of the forewings overlapped that of the hindwings like in modern butterflies. Taken together with their large bodies, these characteristics indicate that they were fast but moderately versatile fliers.[12]

In contrast, later palaeontinids like the Upper Jurassic Eocicada and Early Cretaceous Ilerdocossus had triangular forewings with the flexion line closer to the base. They had smaller and narrower hindwings that did not overlap with the forewing. These indicate that they were highly versatile fliers, able to fly with a wide range of speeds and agility like modern wasps and sphinx moths.[12] They also possessed changes to the leading edge of their forewings, suggesting an overall gain in lift.[11]

The trend of forewing elongation is most evident in members of the family Mesogereonidae, an early offshoot and close relatives of palaeontinids.[13]

http://www.starkefossilien.de/fossilien-aus-dem-solnhofener-plattenkalk/sonstige-2/

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