Familial Clarification of Saucrosmylidae stat. nov. and New Saucrosmylids from Daohugou, China (Insecta, Neuroptera)

PLoS One. 2015 Oct 20;10(10):e0141048. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141048. eCollection 2015.


Backgound: Saucrosmylids are characterized by the typically large body size, complicated venation and diverse wing markings, which were only discovered in Middle Jurassic of Daohugou, Ningcheng county, Inner Mongolia, China.

Principal findings: Saucrosmylinae Ren, 2003, originally included as a subfamily in the Osmylidae, was transferred and elevated to family rank based on the definitive synapomorphic character. The updated definition of Saucrosmylidae stat. nov. was outlined in detail: presence of nygma and trichosors; diverse markings on membrane; complicated cross-veins; distal fusion of Sc and R1; expanded space between R1 and Rs having 2-7 rows of cells that should be a synapomorphic character of the family; proximal MP fork. And the previous misuses of Saucrosmylidae are also clarified. Furthermore, a new genus with a new species and an indeterminate species of Saucrosmylidae are described as Ulrikezza aspoeckae gen. et sp. nov. and Ulrikezza sp. from the Middle Jurassic of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China. A key to genera of Saucrosmylidae is provided.

Conclusions/significance: The intriguing group represents a particular lineage of Neuroptera in the Mesozoic Era. The familial status of Saucrosmylidae was firstly advanced that clarified the former incorrect citation and use of the family name. As an extinct clade, many species of the saucrosmylids were erected just based on a single fore- or hindwing, and it should be realized that providing more stable characters is necessary when describing new lacewing taxa just based on an isolated hindwing. It is vital for the systematics of Saucrosmylidae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Size
  • China
  • Fossils / anatomy & histology
  • Insecta / anatomy & histology*
  • Insecta / classification*
  • Phylogeny
  • Wings, Animal

Grants and funding

This research is supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2012CB821906), National Science Foundation of China (31230065, 31301905), National Science Foundation of China (41372013, 41272006), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2012T50113), Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (20131108120005), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (5132008), Great Wall Scholar and KEY project of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education (KZ201310028033), Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT13081). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.