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A primitive earwig in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Dermaptera: Pygidicranidae)

  • Michael S. Engel (a1) and David A. Grimaldi (a2)

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The earwigs comprise an order (Dermaptera) of polyneopterous insects allied to the Dictyoptera and Grylloblattodea (Giles, 1963; Hennig, 1969; Boudreaux, 1979). Dermaptera have at times in the past been allied with the Phasmida, Embiodea, and Plecoptera (e.g., Blacklith and Blacklith, 1968; Jamieson, 1987) but these relationships do not seem to be congruent with the overall body of data for Polyneoptera phylogeny and the monophyly of a Grylloblattodea + Dermaptera + Dictyoptera clade currently has perhaps more evidence than competing hypotheses (e.g., Carpenter and Wheeler, 1999; Wheeler et al., 2001). However, revised morphological and paleontological evidence may suggest that Dermaptera are basal within Anartioptera—a clade consisting of Plecopterida, Orthopterida, Grylloblattodea, and Mantophasmatodea, as well as the earwigs (e.g., Engel and Grimaldi, 2004). The earwigs are certainly autapomorphic, like many polyneopterous insects, and their definitive placement remains elusive.

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A primitive earwig in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Dermaptera: Pygidicranidae)

  • Michael S. Engel (a1) and David A. Grimaldi (a2)

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