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Fwd: Blood-sucking aquatic parasite Qiyia from Jurassic of China (free pdf)

Apparently this item did not go through for the DML when I sent it
earlier. I will try again... Apologies if the original shows up later.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM
Subject: Blood-sucking aquatic parasite Qiyia from Jurassic of China (free pdf)
To: dinosaur@usc.edu

Ben Creisler

OK--a non-dino item but this little fly larva Qiyia had an especially
nasty sucking mouth that adds to the misery of giant fleas and other
critters that plagued Mesozoic vertebrates big and small...

Jun Chen, Bo Wang, Michael S Engel, Torsten Wappler, Edmund A
Jarzembowski, Haichun Zhang, Xiaoli Wang, Xiaoting Zheng & Jes Rust
Extreme adaptations for aquatic ectoparasitism in a Jurassic fly larva.
eLife 2014; 3:e02844
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02844

The reconstruction of ancient insect ectoparasitism is challenging,
mostly because of the extreme scarcity of fossils with obvious
ectoparasitic features such as sucking-piercing mouthparts and
specialized attachment organs. Here we describe a bizarre fly larva
(Diptera), Qiyia jurassica gen. et sp. nov., from the Jurassic of
China, that represents a stem group of the tabanomorph family
Athericidae. Q. jurassica exhibits adaptations to an aquatic habitat.
More importantly, it preserves an unusual combination of features
including a thoracic sucker with six radial ridges, unique in insects,
piercing-sucking mouthparts for fluid feeding, and crocheted ventral
prolegs with upward directed bristles for anchoring and movement while
submerged. We demonstrate that Q. jurassica was an aquatic
ectoparasitic insect, probably feeding on the blood of salamanders.
The finding reveals an extreme morphological specialization of fly
larvae, and broadens our understanding of the diversity of
ectoparasitism in Mesozoic insects.

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