Just published: A new fossil cricket of the genus Proanaxipha in Miocene amber from the Dominican Republic

The following paper was published today in the journal ZooKeys: Heads SW, Penney D, Green DI (2012) A new fossil cricket of the genus Proanaxipha in Miocene amber from the Dominican Republic (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Pentacentrinae). ZooKeys 229: 111–118, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.229.3678. [pdf]

In the paper we describe Proanaxipha madgesuttonae, a new species of pentacentrine cricket from Early Miocene Dominican amber. The holotype (a male) is exceptionally well preserved, as is typical of inclusions in Dominican amber, and retains its original color pattern and fine setae on the pronotum, legs, cerci, etc. In addition, the apical parts of the phallic complex (the median epiphallic process and the distal lobes of the ectoparameres) can be seen in ventral view, protruding slightly from the genital capsule.

Morphologically, P. madgesuttonae and the type species P. latoca (described by Vickery & Poinar, 1994) share many features in common with some species currently placed in the extant genus Nemobiopsis and while the precise relationships of these taxa have yet to be fully investigated, it seems likely that Proanaxipha and Nemobiopsis are closely related. Nevertheless, the status of Nemobiopsis and Proanaxipha as separate, monophyletic genera is questionable (Nemobiopsis in particular is rather ill-defined) and a thorough revision of these and related genera is needed.

Additional references

Vickery VR, Poinar GO (1994) Crickets (Grylloptera: Grylloidea) in Dominican amber. Canadian Entomologist 126: 13–22, doi: 10.4039/Ent12613-1.

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