|Title||Jurassic mimicry between a hangingfly and a ginkgo from China.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Wang, Y, Labandeira, CC, Shih, C, Ding, Q, Wang, C, Zhao, Y, Ren, D|
|Journal||Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A|
|Date Published||2012 Nov 26|
|Keywords||insects, Mesozoic, mimicry, non-primate|
A near-perfect mimetic association between a mecopteran insect species and a ginkgoalean plant species from the late Middle Jurassic of northeastern China recently has been discovered. The association stems from a case of mixed identity between a particular plant and an insect in the laboratory and the field. This confusion is explained as a case of leaf mimesis, wherein the appearance of the multilobed leaf of Yimaia capituliformis (the ginkgoalean model) was accurately replicated by the wings and abdomen of the cimbrophlebiid Juracimbrophlebia ginkgofolia (the hangingfly mimic). Our results suggest that hangingflies developed leaf mimesis either as an antipredator avoidance device or possibly as a predatory strategy to provide an antiherbivore function for its plant hosts, thus gaining mutual benefit for both the hangingfly and the ginkgo species. This documentation of mimesis is a rare occasion whereby exquisitely preserved, co-occurring fossils occupy a narrow spatiotemporal window that reveal likely reciprocal mechanisms which plants and insects provide mutual defensive support during their preangiospermous evolutionary histories.
|Alternate Journal||Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.|
Jurassic mimicry between a hangingfly and a ginkgo from China.
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