BIO-Complexity, Vol 2018

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Chrismooreia michaelbehei gen. et sp. nov. (Insecta: Odonata: Asiopteridae), a new fossil damsel-dragonfly from the Early Jurassic of England

Günter Bechly


A new fossil damsel-dragonfly Chrismooreia michaelbehei gen. et sp. nov. (Insecta: Odonata: Asiopteridae) is described from the Early Jurassic of Charmouth in England. This fossil is the best preserved and first complete specimen of the Mesozoic family Asiopteridae, which was previously only known from isolated wings, and actually represents one of the most complete Liassic odonates known. Body characters are described for the first time and include compound eyes that meet dorsally, robust thorax, legs with short spines, and very long leaf-like cerci. The forewing venation features a short fusion of AA+Cu with MP near the tip of the discoidal cell, which is an absolutely unique character state within the order Odonata, here described for the first time. The wing venation shows a mixture of sphenophlebiid and asiopterid characters, with the latter characters dominating. The classification of Sphenophlebiidae is discussed and its synonymy with Asiopteridae is tentatively rejected, but not ruled out. As further addition to the Liassic odonate fauna from the Charmouth fossil locality, a specimen of Protomyrmeleon cf. brunonis is featured but not formally described as first record of the suborder Archizygoptera and the family Protomyrmeleontidae.

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