A new archaeorthopteran insect from the Early Permian of the Saar-Nahe Basin, SW Germany - MNHN - Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle Access content directly
Journal Articles Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen Year : 2021

A new archaeorthopteran insect from the Early Permian of the Saar-Nahe Basin, SW Germany

André Nel
Markus Poschmann
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Abstract Acoustic communication is well-known in insects since the Mesozoic, but earlier evidence of this behavior is rare. Titanoptera, an ‘orthopteroid’ Permian-Triassic order, is one of the few candidates for Paleozoic intersex calling interactions: some specimens had highly specialized broadened zones on the forewings, which are currently considered—despite inconclusive evidence—as ‘resonators’ of a stridulatory apparatus. Here we argue that the stridulatory apparatus hypothesis is unlikely because the Titanoptera lack a stridulatory file on their bodies, legs or wings. Instead, comparing these broadened zones with similar structures in extant locusts, flies, and fossil damselflies, we find evidence that the Titanoptera used their wings to produce flashes of light and/or crepitated sounds. Moreover, we describe the first Carboniferous (~310 Mya) Titanoptera, which exhibits such specialized zones, thus corresponding to the oldest record of wing communication in insects. Whether these communication systems were used to attract sexual partners and/or escape predators remain to be demonstrated.Acoustic communication is well-known in insects since the Mesozoic, but earlier evidence of this behavior is rare. Titanoptera, an ‘orthopteroid’ Permian-Triassic order, is one of the few candidates for Paleozoic intersex calling interactions: some specimens had highly specialized broadened zones on the forewings, which are currently considered—despite inconclusive evidence—as ‘resonators’ of a stridulatory apparatus. Here we argue that the stridulatory apparatus hypothesis is unlikely because the Titanoptera lack a stridulatory file on their bodies, legs or wings. Instead, comparing these broadened zones with similar structures in extant locusts, flies, and fossil damselflies, we find evidence that the Titanoptera used their wings to produce flashes of light and/or crepitated sounds. Moreover, we describe the first Carboniferous (~310 Mya) Titanoptera, which exhibits such specialized zones, thus corresponding to the oldest record of wing communication in insects. Whether these communication systems were used to attract sexual partners and/or escape predators remain to be demonstrated.
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mnhn-04020026 , version 1 (08-03-2023)

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André Nel, Markus Poschmann. A new archaeorthopteran insect from the Early Permian of the Saar-Nahe Basin, SW Germany. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen, 2021, 301 (1), pp.79-84. ⟨10.1127/njgpa/2021/0998⟩. ⟨mnhn-04020026⟩
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