Just out | The earliest amber-recorded type cockroach family was aposematic (Blattaria: Blattidae) @ Cretaceous Research

Just out @ Cretaceous Research


The earliest amber-recorded type cockroach family was aposematic (Blattaria: Blattidae)


Lucia Šmídová, Xiaojie Lei


Only seven adult cockroaches have been described from Mesozoic amber. Balatronis cretacea gen. et sp. nov. from the Cenomanian burmite is the most ancient member of the type cockroach family Blattidae and the only one recorded from Cretaceous strata. Individuals represented by immature and adults (n = 14, 4) constitute 3.2 per cents of all Myanmar amber cockroaches surveyed by us – indicating habits close to source trees supported with bark body pattern (absent in sedimentary fossils). Preservation in small-sized pieces suggests longer post-depositional transportation. Its characteristic aposematic coloration suggests direct ancestry to the living repellent harlequin cockroach Neostylopyga rhombifolia, which lost its wings. Along with the bizarre Manipulatoridae, Eadiidae and Alienopteridae species, it exemplifies the high disparity of cockroaches in the ancient amber–producing tropical forest, but also documents the appearance of advanced modern taxa.



Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)