The first fossil immature of Elmidae: an unusual riffle beetle larva preserved in Baltic amber

Ana Zippel, Viktor A. Baranov, Jörg U. Hammel, Marie K. Hörnig, Carolin Haug, Joachim T. Haug
2022 PeerJ  
Elmidae, riffle beetles, have both adult and immature stages that show specializations for water environments. Fossils of adults of Elmidae are already known from amber, however a record of immatures was so far lacking. We report here the first fossil larva of Elmidae, preserved in Baltic amber. To be able to access details of the body hidden by inclusions and "Verlumung" we conducted, in addition to optical documentation methods, micro-CT and synchrotron documentation methods. The larva is
more » ... acterised by prominent dorso-lateral and lateral processes and a plate-like ventral operculum at the end of the abdomen. The new fossil has similarities in the general body shape and the prominent characters with some modern larvae of Elmidae. The posterior protrusions on the trunk end possibly represent gills, which would imply that fossil larvae of Elmidae also led a water-related life style similar to modern representatives.
doi:10.7717/peerj.13025 pmid:35415015 pmcid:PMC8995018 fatcat:fpo4ndx6avf4llwdqnfsoqwi4q