Liverwort Mimesis in a Cretaceous Lacewing Larva
Liu, Xingyue1; Shi, Gongle (史恭乐)2,3; Xia, Fangyuan4; Lu, Xiumei1; Wang, Bo (王博)2,3; Engel, Michael S.5,6,7
Source PublicationCURRENT BIOLOGY

Camouflage and mimicry are staples among predator-prey interactions, and evolutionary novelties in behavior, anatomy, and physiology that permit such mimesis are rife throughout the biological world [1, 2]. These specializations allow for prey to better evade capture or permit predators to more easily approach their prey, or in some cases, the mimesis can serve both purposes. Despite the importance of mimesis and camouflage in predator-avoidance or hunting strategies, the long-term history of these traits is often obscured by an insufficient fossil record. Here, we report the discovery of Upper Cretaceous (approximately 100 million years old) green lacewing larvae (Chrysopoidea), preserved in amber from northern Myanmar, anatomically modified to mimic coeval liverworts. Chrysopidae are a diverse lineage of lacewings whose larvae usually camouflage themselves with a uniquely constructed packet of exogenous debris, conveying greater stealth upon them as they hunt prey such as aphids as well as evade their own predators [3, 4]. However, no lacewing larvae today mimic their surroundings. While the anatomy of Phyllochrysa huangi gen. et sp. nov. allowed it to avoid detection, the lack of setae or other anatomical elements for entangling debris as camouflage means its sole defense was its mimicry, and it could have been a stealthy hunter like living and other fossil Chrysopoidea or been an ambush predator aided by its disguise. The present fossils demonstrate a hitherto unknown life-history strategy among these "wolf in sheep's clothing" predators, one that apparently evolved from a camouflaging ancestor but did not persist within the lineage.

WOS KeywordAmber ; Neuroptera ; Evolution ; Chrysopidae ; Phylogeny ; Mimicry ; Myanmar
Funding ProjectNational Natural Science Foundation of China[31672322] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41622201] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41688103] ; Chinese Academy of Sciences[XDPB05] ; Beijing Natural Science Foundation[5162016] ; US National Science Foundation[DEB-1144162]
WOS Research AreaBiochemistry & Molecular Biology ; Cell Biology
WOS SubjectBiochemistry & Molecular Biology ; Cell Biology
WOS IDWOS:000432442300033
Funding OrganizationNational Natural Science Foundation of China ; Chinese Academy of Sciences ; Beijing Natural Science Foundation ; US National Science Foundation
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Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorLiu, Xingyue; Wang, Bo (王博); Engel, Michael S.
Affiliation1.China Agr Univ, Dept Entomol, Beijing 100193, Peoples R China
2.Chinese Acad Sci, Nanjing Inst Geol & Palaeontol, State Key Lab Palaeobiol & Stratig, 39 East Beijing Rd, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
3.Chinese Acad Sci, Ctr Excellence Life & Paleoenvironm, 39 East Beijing Rd, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
4.Lingpoge Amber Museum, Nanjiao Bieshu 394, Shanghai 201108, Peoples R China
5.Univ Kansas, Nat Hist Museum, Div Entomol, 1501 Crestline Dr,Suite 140, Lawrence, KS 66045 USA
6.Univ Kansas, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Lawrence, KS 66045 USA
7.Amer Museum Nat Hist, Div Invertebrate Zool, Cent Pk West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024 USA
Corresponding Author AffilicationNanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeonotology,CAS
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Liu, Xingyue,Shi, Gongle ,Xia, Fangyuan,et al. Liverwort Mimesis in a Cretaceous Lacewing Larva[J]. CURRENT BIOLOGY,2018,28(9):1475-+.
APA Liu, Xingyue,Shi, Gongle ,Xia, Fangyuan,Lu, Xiumei,Wang, Bo ,&Engel, Michael S..(2018).Liverwort Mimesis in a Cretaceous Lacewing Larva.CURRENT BIOLOGY,28(9),1475-+.
MLA Liu, Xingyue,et al."Liverwort Mimesis in a Cretaceous Lacewing Larva".CURRENT BIOLOGY 28.9(2018):1475-+.
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