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The oldest fossil strepsipteran larva (Insecta: Strepsiptera) from the Geisel Valley, Germany (Eocene)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

The only known fossil strepsipteran first-instar larva from Eocene brown coal is re-examined and redescribed, and photographs together with a detailed interpretative illustration are presented. The original preparation of the minute larva in a 1-mm-thick piece of brown coal of the Geisel valley precludes a detailed examination. After remounting, additional details of the larva are recognisable. A cladistic analysis of 60 morphological characters of 24 recent first-instar strepsipteran larva and the fossil larva confirm the placement in Strepsiptera and in Stylopidia with good support. A placement in Myrmecolacidae or even in the recent genus Stichotrema is rejected. Thus, Pseudococcites Haupt, 1950 comb.rev. is re-established and †Pseudococcites eocaenicus is moved to Stylopidia as incertae sedis.


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