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The first Triassic ‘Protodonatan’ (Zygophlebiidae) from China: stratigraphical implications

  • D. R. ZHENG (a1) (a2), A. NEL (a3), B. WANG (a2) (a4), E. A. JARZEMBOWSKI (a2) (a5), S.-C. CHANG (a1) and H. C. ZHANG (a2)...


The clade Triadophlebioptera within the Odonatoptera greatly diversified and became widely distributed worldwide during the Triassic. Although abundant insect fossils have been reported from the Triassic of China, no Triassic dragonflies have been recorded. In this paper, Zygophlebia tongchuanensis sp. nov., the first species of Zygophlebiidae discovered outside the Madygen Formation of Kyrgyzstan, is described from the Middle–Upper Triassic Tongchuan Formation of Shaanxi Province, northwestern China. The discovery extends the distribution of the family Zygophlebiidae in Asia, indicating a high diversity of Triadophlebioptera during Middle–Late Triassic times. Combined with the palaeontological and geochronological evidence, the age of the Tongchuan Formation is considered to be Anisian – Early Carnian, and the insect-bearing layers are considered to be Ladinian.


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