Chinese scientists discover extinct bug preserved in amber from 99 million years ago

(People's Daily Online) 13:09, March 22, 2021

Chinese scientists have discovered a small coreid bug with oversized leaf-like antennae preserved in a piece of amber from northern Myanmar that dates back about 99 million years.

Photo shows the amber in which a small coreid bug with oversized leaf-like antennae is preserved. (Photo courtesy of the interviewee)

It is the first ancient bug of this kind, as well as the first coreid bug with leaf-shaped antennae ever discovered. The specimen has been on display at the Paleodiary Natural History Museum in Beijing since March 20.

The discovery is of key importance to the study of the chemical communication, defensive behaviors, and sexual selection of the insect, according to a recent article published in the international journal iScience.

Photo shows images of existing coreid bugs. (Photo courtesy of the interviewee)

Du Baojie, one of the authors of the article and a researcher with China's Nankai University, said she was very excited when she first examined the rare specimen. The discovery shows that some hemipteran insects had developed a sensitive and sophisticated sensory system in mid-Cretaceous era.

The coreid bug discovered this time is an immature nymph, and the research team said they will continue looking for an adult insect to further verify the origin and hypothesis on some of its functions, said a biological expert.


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