Eur. J. Entomol. 107 (4): 615-620, 2010 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2010.070

New morphological data from the Jurassic of Inner Mongolia confirms the damselfly aspect of Protomyrmeleontidae (Insecta: Odonatoptera)

Di-Ying HUANG1, Julián F. PETRULEVIČIUS2,3, André NEL*,2
1 State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, P.R. China; e-mail:
2 CNRS UMR 7205, CP 50, Entomologie, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, 45 Rue Buffon, F-75005, Paris, France; e-mails:,
3 CONICET, Museo de La Plata, Departamento Paleozoologia Invertebrados, Paseo del Bosque, s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina

Protomyrmeleon daohugouensis sp. n. and Protomyrmeleon lini sp. n., two new species of Protomyrmeleontidae from the Middle Jurassic of Jiulongshan Formation are the first Chinese representatives of this Mesozoic odonatopteran family. The type specimen of P. lini is exceptionally well preserved, showing several particular wing and body structures that were unknown, viz. unique shape of tarsal claws, extreme thoracic skewness, presence of three pairs of long spurs on all femora and tibiae. The type "A" (sensu Nel et al., 2005) of wing venation (i.e. with a very long bridge between IR2 and RP3/4) corresponds to that of the protomyrmeleontid fore wing. The nearly complete absence of the meso-metathoracic interpleural suture, newly discovered in the Protomyrmeleontidae, can be considered as a synapomorphy of the clade Protozygoptera + Odonata.

Keywords: Odonatoptera, Archizygoptera, Protomyrmeleontidae, Protomyrmeleon, sp. n., China, Middle Jurassic, morphology, palaeobiology

Received: March 19, 2010; Accepted: May 10, 2010; Revised: May 10, 2010; Published: October 20, 2010Show citation

ACS AIP APA ASA Harvard Chicago IEEE ISO690 MLA NLM Turabian Vancouver
HUANG, D., PETRULEVIČIUS, J.F., & NEL, A. (2010). New morphological data from the Jurassic of Inner Mongolia confirms the damselfly aspect of Protomyrmeleontidae (Insecta: Odonatoptera). Eur. J. Entomol.107(4), 615-620. doi: 10.14411/eje.2010.070.
Download citation


  1. ANSORGE J. 1996: Insekten aus dem Oberen Lias von Grimmen (Vorpommern, Norddeutschland). Neue Palaeontol. Abh. 2: 1-132
  2. ASAHINA S. 1954: A Morphological Study of a Relict Dragonfly Epiophlebia superstes Selys (Odonata, Anisozygoptera). The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, 153 pp
  3. ASAHINA S. 1957: On the pterothoracic interpleural suture of Mesozoic and recent Odonata. J. Fac. Sci. Hokkaido Univ. (VI, Zool.) 13: 1-7
  4. BECHLY G. 1996: Morphologische Untersuchungen am Fluegelgeaeder der rezenten Libellen und deren Stammgruppenvertreter (Insecta; Pterygota; Odonata), unter besonderer Beruecksichtigung der Phylogenetischen Systematik und des Grundplanes der *Odonata. Petalura (BGblingen) (Spec. Vol.) 2: 402 pp
  5. HUANG D.-Y., NEL A., SHEN Y.-B., SELDEN P.A. & LIN Q.-B. 2006: Discussions on the age of the Daohugou fauna - evidence from invertebrates. Progr. Nat. Sci. (Spec. Issue) 16: 308-312
  6. LAK M., FLECK G., AZAR D., ENGEL M.S., KADDUMI H.F., NERAUDEAU D., TAFFOREAU P. & NEL A. 2009: Phase contrast X-ray synchrotron imaging and the oldest damselflies in amber (Odonata: Zygoptera: Hemiphlebiidae). Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 156: 913-923 Go to original source...
  7. MARTYNOV A.V. 1927: Jurassic fossil insects from Turkestan. 7. Some Odonata, Neuroptera, Thysanoptera. Bull. Acad. Sci. URSS (Sci. Math. Nat.) 20: 757-768 [in Russian]
  8. NEEDHAM J.G. & ANTHONY M.H. 1903: The skewness of the thorax in the Odonata. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 11: 117-123
  9. NEL A. 1992: Redescription de la libellule fossile du Jurassique superieur "?Malmagrion eichstaettense (Hagen, 1862)" (Odonatoptera, Odonata, Archizygoptera). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 96: 433-442
  10. NEL A. & HENROTAY M. 1992: Les Protomyrmemelontidae (Odonatoptera, Odonata, Archizygoptera stat. rest.): etat actuel des connaissances. Ann. Paleontol. (Vert.-Invert.) 78: 1-47
  11. NEL A. & JARZEMBOWSKI E.A. 1998: New Protomyrmeleontid dragonflies from the Lower Cretaceous of Southern England. (Insecta, Odonata, Archizygoptera). Cretac. Res. 19: 393-402 Go to original source...
  12. NEL A., MARTINEZ-DELCLOS X., PAICHELER J.-C. & HENROTAY M. 1993: Les "Anisozygoptera" fossiles. Phylogenie et classification. (Odonata). Martinia (Spec. Issue) 3: 1-311
  13. NEL A., PETRULEVICIUS J.F. & MARTINEZ-DELCLOS X. 2005: New Mesozoic Protomyrmeleontidae (Insecta: Odonatoptera: Archizygoptera) from Asia with a new phylogenetic analysis. J. Syst. Palaeontol. 3: 187-201 Go to original source...
  14. NEL A., NEL P., PETRULEVICIUS J.F., PERRICHOT V., PROKOP J. & AZAR D. 2010: The Wagner parsimony using morphological characters: a new method for palaeosynecological studies. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. (N.S.) 46: 276-292 Go to original source...
  15. RIEK F. & KUKALOVA-PECK J. 1984: A new interpretation of dragonfly wing venation based upon early Upper Carboniferous fossils from Argentina (Insecta: Odonatoidea) and basic character states in pterygote wings. Can. J. Zool. 62: 1150-1166 Go to original source...
  16. TILLYARD R.J. 1925: The British Liassic Dragonflies. Fossil Insects 1. British Museum (Natural History), London, pp. 1-39
  17. ZESSIN W. 1991: Die Phylogenie der Protomyrmeleontidae unter Einbeziehung neuer oberliassischer Funde (Odonata: Archizygoptera sens. nov.). Odonatologica 20: 97-126

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original publication is properly cited. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.