В бирманском янтаре мелового периода найден вымерший убийца пауков

Рис. 1. Слева — сетчатокрылое насекомое Pedanoptera arachnophila, справа — его предполагаемая личинка. Фото из обсуждаемой статьи в Current Biology

Палеоэнтомологи обнаружили в бирманском янтаре возрастом около 99 миллионов лет необычную личинку сетчатокрылого насекомого. Судя по строению конечностей, она охотилась на пауков, разгуливая по их ловчим сетям. Помимо личинки, в том же бирманском янтаре было найдено почти столь же необычное взрослое насекомое из этого же отряда, утратившее задние крылья. Ученые отнесли обе находки к одному и тому же виду, который получил название Pedanoptera arachnophila.

В последнее время бирмит — янтарь мелового периода, который происходит из Мьянмы (бывшей Бирмы), государства в Юго-Восточной Азии, — стал постоянным источником научных сенсаций. Ведущие университеты и музеи не зря активно занимаются его скупкой. То в бирмите найдут хорошо сохранившихся ящериц, то фрагменты крыльев вымерших беззубых птиц Enantiornithes.

Но больше всего в бирманском янтаре насекомых — как взрослых, так и личинок. Последнее особенно ценно, поскольку наземные личинки, живущие вдали от водоемов, почти не сохраняются в обычных осадочных породах, и янтари являются почти единственным шансом о них что-то узнать. И вот такой шанс недавно представился ученым из Китая и США, которые обнаружили в бирмите причудливую личинку (справа на рис. 1), относящуюся к отряду сетчатокрылых насекомых (Neuroptera).

С первого взгляда в глаза бросаются длинные конечности личинки, причем средняя пара несколько короче передних и задних ног. Но еще важнее, что коготки, которые попарно располагаются на концах ее конечностей, несут на себе крошечные зубчики. Такое строение коготков неизвестно среди личинок других сетчатокрылых насекомых, зато им обладают длинноногие клопы-хищнецы из подсемейства Emesinae, которые охотятся на пауков.

Зубчики на коготках помогают этим клопам ходить по паутине и при этом не прилипать к ней, подбираясь к ее владельцу. Зубчатые коготки имеются и у самих пауков, строящих ловчие сети. Поэтому авторы статьи уверены в том, что коготки найденной личинки имели аналогичное применение. Учитывая, что почти все сетчатокрылые на личиночной стадии являются хищниками, личинка могла разгуливать по паутине только с одной целью — чтобы съесть самого паука или, по крайней мере, его добычу.

Кроме того, авторы статьи обнаружили в бирмите взрослое сетчатокрылое насекомое из вымершего семейства Mesochrysopidae. Оно получило название Pedanoptera arachnophila и характеризуется длинными ногами, удлиненной переднеспинкой и задними крыльями, редуцированными до состояния небольших пластинок с едва различимым жилкованием. Подобная двукрылость — это отличительный признак мух и ос, тогда как для отряда Neuroptera типичным состоянием является наличие двух нормально развитых пар крыльев.

В бирманском янтаре мелового периода найден вымерший убийца пауков

Рис. 2. А — имаго Pedanoptera arachnophila, B — личинка, С и D — конечные сегменты антенны имаго и личинки соответственно, E — пара зубчатых коготков на лапке личинки. Рисунок из обсуждаемой статьи в Current Biology

Примеры практически полной редукции задних крыльев среди сетчатокрылых насекомых можно пересчитать по пальцам. Один из них — это современный вид Psectra diptera (Hemerobiidae), среди нормальных четырехкрылых представителей которого по неизвестной причине встречаются и двукрылые особи. Другой пример двукрылости — это вымершее меловое семейство Dipteromantispidae с передними хватательными ногами — оно, кстати, недавно было найдено и в бирмите (X. Liu et al., 2016. Halteriomantispa grimaldii gen. et sp. nov.: A new genus and species of the family Dipteromantispidae (Insecta: Neuroptera) from the mid-Cretaceous amber of Myanmar). Наконец, задние крылья уменьшились и у семейства нитекрылок (Nemopteridae), но всё же не до такой степени.

Получается, что P. arachnophila — это фактически третий известный случай полной двукрылости среди Neuroptera. Учитывая необычность данного экземпляра, авторы работы отнесли к этому же виду и личинку-паукоубийцу. «Связь между взрослыми и личинками подтверждается наличием на обеих стадиях целого ряда уникальных анатомических специализаций, которые неизвестны ни среди ныне живущих, ни среди ископаемых Neuroptera», говорится в статье.

В бирманском янтаре мелового периода найден вымерший убийца пауков

Рис. 3. Реконструкция Pedanoptera arachnophila и ее предполагаемой личинки, которая изображена подкрадывающейся к пауку. Изображение из обсуждаемой статьи в Current Biology

Надо сказать, аргумент не очень убедительный — существует масса примеров, когда ничем ни примечательные взрослые насекомые обладают совершенно удивительными личинками и наоборот. К тому же двукрылые P. arachnophila едва ли являются единственными необычными Neuroptera в бирмите, ведь недавно там были обнаружены и другие представители данного отряда с уникальными специализациями, такими как колюще-сосущий ротовой аппарат, предположительно предназначенный для кровососания (Vladimir N. Makarkin, 2016. Enormously long, siphonate mouthparts of a new, oldest known spongillafly (Neuroptera, Sisyridae) from Burmese amber imply nectarivory or hematophagy). И кто знает, что принесут нам новые находки.

Вообще в случае насекомых с полным превращением соотнесение личинок и взрослых особей (имаго) — это очень нелегкая задача. Даже для многих современных видов неизвестно, какие именно личинки им соответствуют — что уж и говорить об ископаемом материале. Поэтому вывод о том, что длинноногая паукоубийца была личинкой именно P. arachnophila, кажется в высшей степени гипотетичным, даже если учесть, что они обладали схожими пропорциями ног и размером (длина тела личинок — 3–5 мм, длина тела имаго — 7 мм). Скорее всего, видовая принадлежность обнаруженной личинки так никогда и не будет установлена с уверенностью.

Тем не менее, несомненно одно — уже в середине мелового периода среди личинок насекомых существовали такие в высшей степени специализированные формы, как эта охотница на пауков. Интересно, что затем эти специалисты бесследно исчезли — во всяком случае, в наши дни сетчатокрылые не могут похвастаться ничем подобным. Единственное семейство Neuroptera, которое связало свою судьбу с пауками — это мантиспиды (Mantispidae), но их личинки живут в паучьих коконах и никогда не путешествуют по паутине.

Источник: elementy.ru

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    I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your
    blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, amazing blog!

  83. After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked
    on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time
    a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment.
    Is there a way you can remove me from that service?
    Thanks!

  84. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say
    fantastic blog!

  85. Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if
    you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  86. Is it real that blog sites are simply online forum conversations with rss that would allow the individual to see what they wished to see more convieniently? Is that all the differences?.

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