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Zippel, Ana; Haug, Carolin; Müller, Patrick and Haug, Joachim T. (2022): First fossil tumbling flower beetle-type larva from 99 million-year-old amber. In: Palz, Vol. 96, No. 2: pp. 219-229 [PDF, 2MB]


Beetle larvae often differ significantly in morphology from their adult counterparts. Therefore, it should be surprising that these immatures are often not considered to the same extent as the adult beetles. As an example, the fossil record of most beetle groups is largely represented by adult specimens. Representatives of Mordellidae, the group of tumbling flower beetles, have a cosmopolitan distribution with myriads of formally described species, based mostly on adult male specimens. Mordellidae is also well represented in the fossil record, but again only by adults;not a single fossil specimen of a larva has been reported until now. We report a new well-preserved beetle larva in 99 million-year-old Kachin amber. The larva possesses specialisations not known from the modern larvae of Mordellidae, but otherwise is clearly similar to them in many aspects. It appears possible that the fossil represents yet another holometabolan larva in Kachin amber that is associated with life within wood and/or fungi, and therefore, may have contributed to carbon cycling of the past.

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