Cariad Williams is pursuing a PhD in entomology at the University of Illinois and is advised by paleontology curator Sam Heads. Read more about her research interests and her path to studying paleontology in this short profile.
Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology and paleontology curator Sam Heads described a new genus and species of fossil grasshopper of the extinct family Elcanidae, from the Cretaceous of China. Check out those leaf-like metatibial spurs! View the paper’s abstract here.
INHS researchers Chris Dietrich and Michael Jared Thomas have described two new extinct fossil leafhoppers—Eoidiocerus emarginatus and Archipedionis obscurus—embedded in 37–44 million-year-old Baltic amber. Both fossils are part of the PRI Paleontology Collection. Read the full paper here: https://zookeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=21976
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.
Vickery VR, Poinar GO (1994) Crickets (Grylloptera: Grylloidea) in Dominican amber. Canadian Entomologist 126: 13–22, doi: 10.4039/Ent12613-1.