New predatory cockroaches (Insecta: Blattaria: Manipulatoridae fam.n.) from the Upper Cretaceous Myanmar amber

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Abstract

We describe a new extinct lineage Manipulatoridae (new family) of cockroaches from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) amber of Myanmar. Manipulator modificaputis gen. et sp. n. is a morphologically unique extinct cockroach that represents the first (of a total of 29 known worldwide) cockroach family reported exclusively from the Myanmar amber. This family represents an early side branch of the stem group of Mantodea (most probably a sister group of Eadiidae within Blattaria/Corydioidea) because it has some synapomorphies with the Mantodea (including the stem group and Eadiidae). This family also retains symplesiomorphies that exclude a position in the crown group, and furthermore has unique autapomorphies that exclude a position as a direct ancestor of Mantodea. The unique adaptations such as strongly elongated extremities and freely movable head on a long neck suggest that these animals were pursuit predators. Five additional specimens (including two immatures) reported from the Myanmar amber suggest that this group was relatively rare but belonged to the indigenous and autochthonous inhabitants of the ancient amber forest of the Myanmar region.

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Geologica Carpathica

The Journal of Geological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences

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