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The earliest evidence of Omophroninae (Coleoptera: Carabidae) from mid-Cretaceous Kachin amber and the description of a larva of a new genus

Publication at Faculty of Science |


Omophroninae is a distinctive monogeneric group of Carabidae, presumably placed relatively close to the root of the megadiverse adephagan family. In the present study we describe a larva belonging to Omophroninae from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber and erect a new genus +Cretomophron.

Several features support the placement in this small but distinctive subfamily, such as the wedge-shaped head, the large triangular nasale, the elevated antennae with the apical segment directed sideways, the large and bidentate mandibular retinaculum, the enlarged hexagonal prothorax, legs with a distinct armature of spines, and the relatively narrow and posteriorly tapering abdomen. In contrast to larvae of the extant genus Omophron Latreille, the posterior tentorial grooves are not shifted backwards, apparently a plesiomorphic feature, the 2nd antennomeres are markedly longer, and the legs bear long setae and rather thin and long spike-like setae. +Cretomophron also differs in the presence of numerous setae arranged in transverse rows on abdominal segment VI.

Lateral lobe-like expansions of abdominal tergites are a conspicuous feature of the new genus but similar structures occur in later instars of Omophron. Structural specializations of the head, prothorax and legs strongly suggest that the larvae were burrowing in sand, like adults and larvae of the extant genus, and that they were efficient predators, detecting prey with the unusually shaped antennae and long maxillae, grasping it with the elongate apical mandibular tooth, and squeezing and piercing it between the bidentate retinaculum and large and triangular nasale.