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Data from: Ovipositor and mouthparts in a fossil insect support a novel ecological role for early orthopterans in 300 million years old forests

Citation

Chen, Lu et al. (2021), Data from: Ovipositor and mouthparts in a fossil insect support a novel ecological role for early orthopterans in 300 million years old forests, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mgqnk98wn

Abstract

A high portion of the earliest known, Pennsylvanian, insect fauna is composed of the so-called ‘lobeattid insects’, which systematic affinities and role as foliage feeders remain debated. We investigated hundreds of samples of a new lobeattid species from the Xiaheyan locality using a combination of photographic techniques, including Reflectance Transforming Imaging, and geometric morphometrics, to document its morphology, and infer its phylogenetic position and ecological role. Ctenoptilus frequens sp. nov. possessed a sword-shaped ovipositor whose valves interlocked by two ball-and-socket mechanisms. This unambiguously supports lobeattids as stem-relatives of all living Orthoptera (crickets, grasshoppers, katydids). Given the herein presented and other remains, it follows that this group experienced an early diversification coupled with high numbers of individuals. The ovipositor shape additionally indicates that ground was the preferred substrate for eggs. Visible mouthparts made it possible to assess the efficiency of the mandibular food uptake system in comparison to a wide array of extant species. The new species was omnivorous which explains the paucity of external damage on contemporaneous plant foliage.

Usage Notes

Thank you for your interest in this dataset. It contains 36 .zip folders, 13 RTI files, and two animated .gif files.

Each .zip folder contains a set of original photographs of a given specimen, or specimen area, of Ctenoptilus frequens. Each folder name indicates (i) the corresponding specimen number (e.g. ‘CNU-NX1-326’) complemented by (ii) indication on the corresponding morphological area (e.g. ‘habitus’, ‘head’). Each folder contains original .tif files, which name includes an indication on the photographed specimen imprint (‘p’ for ‘part’ and ‘c’ for ‘counterpart’; or ‘a’ and ‘b’), when applicable, and whether the specimen was photographed under dry condition (‘dry’) or under a thin film of ethanol (‘eth’). If not visible on photographs, a separate .tif file provides a scale (in millimetres). Each folder also contains an Adode Photoshop file with the complete set of aligned photographs, each composing a distinct layer, optimized.

In a similar fashion, the file name of RTI files indicates (i) the specimen number (e.g. ‘CNU-NX1-326’) complemented by (ii) indication on the corresponding imprint (e.g. ‘c’, ‘p’) and (iii) indication on the corresponding area (e.g. ‘head’).

The .gif file named phylomorphospace3d_diet_labels is an animated version of Fig. 3E with color-coding applying to diet (Ctenoptilus frequens in black) The .gif file named phylomorphospace3d_order_labels is an animated version of Fig. 3E with color-coding applying to orders (Ctenoptilus frequens in black).

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31730087

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 41688103

Project of High-level Teachers in Beijing Municipal Universities in the Period of 13th Five-year Plan, Award: IDHT20180518

Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University, Award: IRT-17R75

H2020 European Research Council, Award: 754290