Bersta

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Bersta
Temporal range: Cenomanian
Bersta figure (cropped).jpg
B. coleopteromorpha (left) and B. vampirica (right)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Heteroptera
Infraorder: Cimicomorpha
Superfamily: Miroidea
Family: Berstidae
Tihelka et al. 2020
Genus: Bersta
Tihelka et al. 2020
Species
  • B. coleopteromorpha Tihelka et al., 2020
  • B. vampirica Tihelka et al., 2020

Bersta is an extinct genus of hemipteran in the monotypic family Berstidae. It is known from two species found in the Cenomanian aged Burmese amber of Myanmar. The external morpology suggests that the genus were beetle mimics.[1]

Lateral view of Bersta

Etymology[edit]

The genus is named after Berstuk, a shapeshifting Slavic forest deity of the Sorb and Wend peoples.[1]

Morphology[edit]

Bersta vampirica ventral

The length of the members of the genus is less than 2.6 mm, the abdominal trichobothria are absent, the abdominal spiracles are on unified sternal plates, and each hemelytron has three longitudinal veins present.[1]

Ecology[edit]

The authors of the describing paper stated that the morphology strongly resembled those of beetles belonging to the families Tenebrionidae, Trogossitidae and Nitidulidae. They proposed the Bersta could have been an aggressive mimic, using its morphology to fool potential prey by resembling them.[1]

Phylogeny[edit]

A phyogenetic analysis found the genus to be a member of Miroidea, and the sister family to Tingidae.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Tihelka, Erik; Engel, Michael S.; Huang, Diying; Cai, Chenyang (July 2020). "Mimicry in Cretaceous Bugs". iScience. 23 (7): 101280. Bibcode:2020iSci...23j1280T. doi:10.1016/j.isci.2020.101280. PMC 7334408. PMID 32622262.