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New early griffenfly, Sinomeganeura huangheensis from the Late Carboniferous of northern China (Meganisoptera: Meganeuridae)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

New griffenfly Sinomeganeura huangheensis gen. n., sp. n. (Meganeuridae) is described from Upper Carboniferous (Namurian) of the Tupo Formation in northern China (Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region). This taxon exhibits unique structure of the wing venation pattern. It is highly interesting in reference to the Namurian age known for the occurrence of two meganeurids until present (Namurotypus Brauckmann & Zessin, 1989 and Shenzhousia Zhang & Hong, 2006) as well as the palaeogeographical position of the locality far from all sites in Laurussia. We demonstrate that meganeurids with relatively small wings already co-existed with large species in the Namurian, as for the Stephanian and the Late Permian. Thus, Sinomeganeura demonstrates that the meganeurid diversity and wing venation disparity were comparable during the Namurian and the Stephanian, suggesting that this group already had a long history in the Early Carboniferous. Odonatoptera were probably the main, if not unique predators of the flying insects during the Late Paleozoic.


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