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Systematics and evolution of Paleozoic and Mesozoic damselfly-like Odonatoptera of the ‘protozygopteran’ grade

  • André Nel (a1), Günter Bechly (a2), Jakub Prokop (a3), Olivier Béthoux (a4) and Gunther Fleck (a5)...
Abstract

The Paleozoic to Mesozoic grade ‘Protozygoptera’ is revised. It appears to be composed of two main lineages, namely the superfamily Permagrionoidea, and the Archizygoptera. The latter taxon forms a monophyletic group together with Panodonata (=crown-Odonata plus their closest stem-relatives). Therefore, the ‘Protozygoptera’ as previously understood is paraphyletic. Diagnostic characters of the ‘Protozygoptera’, Permagrionoidea, and Archizygoptera are re-evaluated. The Permolestidae is considered as a junior synonym of the Permagrionidae. The following new taxa are described: Permolestes sheimogorai new species, Permolestes soyanaiensis new species, Epilestes angustapterix new species, Solikamptilon pectinatus new species (all in Permagrionidae); Lodeviidae new family (for Lodevia); Luiseiidae new family (including Luiseia breviata new genus and species); Kennedya azari new species, Kennedya pritykinae new species, Kennedya ivensis new species, Progoneura grimaldii new species (all in Kennedyidae); Engellestes chekardensis new genus and species (in Bakteniidae); and Azaroneura permiana new genus and species (in Voltzialestidae). The Kaltanoneuridae and Oboraneuridae are revised. The evolution of protozygopteran Odonatoptera during the transition from the Permian to the Triassic is discussed. The larger taxa of the permagrionoid lineage apparently did not cross through the Permian–Triassic boundary, unlike the more gracile Archizygoptera. This last group shows a remarkable longevity from the late Carboniferous to the Early Cretaceous. It also presents a great taxonomic and morphological stability, with genera ranging from the Permian to the Triassic, and a wing venation pattern nearly unchanged from the late Carboniferous to the Late Triassic. The mass extinction at the end of the Permian period seemingly had a minor effect on these tiny and delicate insects.

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Journal of Paleontology
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