Eobelinae

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Eobelinae
Temporal range: Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Superfamily: Curculionoidea
Family: Belidae
Subfamily: Eobelinae
Arnoldi, 1977
Genera

9, see text

Synonyms

Eobelini

Eobelinae are an extinct beetle subfamily that throve in the late Mesozoic. They belong to the belids or "primitive weevils" of the family Belidae. The Belidae today occur only from the Australia-New Guinea-New Zealand region to Southeast Asia, some Pacific islands, South and Central America and a few locations in Africa. The Eobelidae were more widespread, occurring at least in Central Asia, Spain and Brazil during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous (about 161 to 100 million years ago).[1]

Description[edit]

Adult Eobelidae are recognizable by their elongated and flat body and long rostrum ("snout"), the latter being longer than the head and pronotum together. Like in other belids, their antennae were straight, not elbowed as in the true weevils (Curculionidae); they insert near the rostrum's center. The "forehead" between the rostrum base and the eyes has a marked outward bulge. The tibiae of the middle and hind legs have spurs at their tips.[1]

Their larvae are unknown. Presumably, like the living belids, they fed on the wood and fruits of diseased or dying plants or on deadwood, with healthy plants less important as food. Given that Araucariaceae are the host plants of many of the older extant lineages of belids, it is quite likely that Eobelinae utilized these conifers too. Indeed, the Araucariaceae flourished at the same time as the Eobelidae, whereas most other known host plants of belids are angiosperms, a group of which the first primitive members (e.g. Archaefructus) lived at the same time as the Eobelidae.[2]

Systematics[edit]

They are sometimes placed as a tribe Eobelini, but the tribes of Belinae are attested in the Paleogene; the radiation of the Belinae subfamilies thus probably took place later in the Cretaceous.[2] Thus treatment as a subfamily is most appropriate for the time being. It remains to be seen however if the Eobelidae as circumscribed here is monophyletic, or contains basal members of the extant belid subfamilies too.

Genera:[1]

  • Archaeorrhynchus Martynov, 1926 (Late Jurassic of Kazakhstan)
  • Belonotaris Arnoldi, 1977 (Late Jurassic of Kazakhstan - Early Cretaceous of Russia)
  • Davidibelus Zherikhin & Gratshev, 2004 (Early Cretaceous of Brazil)
  • Eobelus Arnoldi, 1977 (Late Jurassic of Kazakhstan)
  • Longidorsum Zhang, 1977 (Early Cretaceous of China)
  • Microprobelus Ming, Dong & Chungkun, 2006 (Yixian Early Cretaceous of Lingyuan City, China)
  • Montsecbelus Zherikhin & Gratshev, 1997 (Early Cretaceous of Spain)
  • Probelopsis Arnoldi, 1977 (Late Jurassic of Kazakhstan)
  • Probelus Arnoldi, 1977 (Late Jurassic of Karatau Range, Kazakhstan - Yixian Early Cretaceous of Hebei, China)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ming et al.(2006)
  2. ^ a b Marvaldi et al.(2006)

References[edit]

  • Marvaldi, A.E.; Oberprieler, R.G.; Lyal, C.H.C.; Bradbury, T. & Anderson, R.S. (2006): Phylogeny of the Oxycoryninae sensu lato (Coleoptera: Belidae) and evolution of host-plant associations. Invertebrate Systematics 20: 447–476. doi:10.1071/IS05059 (HTML abstract)
  • Ming, Liu; Dong, Ren & Chungkun, Shi (2006): A new fossil weevil (Coleoptera, Curculionoidea, Belidae) from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China. Progress in Natural Science 16 (8): 885-888. doi:10.1080/10020070612330084 (HTML abstract)