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The earliest Elcanidae (Insecta, Orthoptera) from the Upper Triassic of North America

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 May 2018

Yan Fang
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210008, China 〈〉; 〈〉 Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1816 South Oak Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820-6960, USA 〈〉
A.D. Muscente
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061, USA 〈〉; 〈〉 Current address: Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Sam W. Heads
Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1816 South Oak Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820-6960, USA 〈〉
Bo Wang
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210008, China 〈〉; 〈〉 Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China 〈〉
Shuhai Xiao*
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, 24061, USA 〈〉; 〈〉
*Corresponding author


A new genus and species of the Elcanidae (Orthoptera, Elcanoidea), Cascadelcana virginiana n. gen. n. sp., is described based on a forewing specimen from the Upper Triassic (Norian) Cow Branch Formation in the Solite Quarry Lagerstätte near the North Carolina-Virginia boundary, USA. It is distinguished from other elcanid species by its RP+MA1 with six branches, M with two branches before stem MA1 fused with RP, and short CuA almost vertical against the posterior margin. This fossil represents the earliest definitive record of the family Elcanidae and the first orthopteran described from the Triassic of North America. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses show that the veins and a pterostigma-like structure on the wing of C. virginiana n. gen. n. sp. are preserved as carbonaceous compressions. The presence of a pterostigma-like structure in elcanids indicates that they may have evolved a particular flight mechanism distinct from those of other orthopterans.


Copyright © 2018, The Paleontological Society 

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