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Oldest known pteroplistine cricket and other Gryllidae (Orthoptera) from the Paleogene Fur and Ølst Formations of Denmark

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The present paper reports on a study of 16 fossil specimens of Gryllidae from the Paleogene marine sediments of the Fur and Ølst Formations (Paleocene/Eocene) of Denmark. The oldest known Pteroplistinae, Pteroplistus danicus sp. n., is described on the basis of 2 isolated male forewings. Additional material consists of isolated male and female forewings, several almost complete female specimens, and large body fragments. The systematic position of these specimens, however, is unclear, because diagnostic characters are not preserved. Possible synapomorphic characters of the wing venation shared by P danicus sp. n., the second known fossil species of Pteroplistinae Eneopterotrypus chopardi Zeuner from the Eocene, and extant Pteroplistinae are proposed. Most of the fossil crickets derive from the Paleocene Ølst Formation. Pteroplistinae are poor flyers, thus their presence suggests near shore conditions of the former marine environment, which is confirmed by analysis of the fish fauna and other insect groups. The present geographical restriction of the Pteroplistinae to India, Vietnam, and Malaysia is presumably a consequence of climatic changes during the Cenozoic.

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Abteilung Morphologie, Systematik und Evolutionsbiologie, Universität Göttingen, Berliner Str. 28, 37073 Göttingen, Germany


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