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Jurassic insect leaf-mimicry to fool predators (pterosaurs, theropods (proto-birds?)) (free pdf)

From: Ben Creisler

A new online open-access paper. Not strictly dino-related, but what
predators were these Jurassic bugs trying to fool?

Yongjie Wang, Conrad C. Labandeira, Chungkun Shih, Qiaoling Ding, Chen
Wang, Yunyun Zhao, and Dong Rena (2012)
Jurassic mimicry between a hangingfly and a ginkgo from China.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1205517109
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (advance online publication)
open access pdf:

A near-perfect mimetic association between a mecopteran insect species
and a ginkgoalean plant species from the late Middle Jurassic of
northeastern China recently has been discovered. The association stems
from a case of mixed identity between a particular plant and an insect
in the laboratory and the field. This confusion is explained as a case
of leaf mimesis, wherein the appearance of the multilobed leaf of
Yimaia capituliformis (the ginkgoalean model) was accurately
replicated by the wings and abdomen of the cimbrophlebiid
Juracimbrophlebia ginkgofolia (the hangingfly mimic). Our results
suggest that hangingflies developed leaf mimesis either as an
antipredator avoidance device or possibly as a predatory strategy to
provide an antiherbivore function for its plant hosts, thus gaining
mutual benefit for both the hangingfly and the ginkgo species. This
documentation of mimesis is a rare occasion whereby exquisitely
preserved, co-occurring fossils occupy a narrow spatiotemporal window
that reveal likely reciprocal mechanisms which plants and insects
provide mutual defensive support during their preangiospermous
evolutionary histories.