[Taxacom] two names online published - one new species

Hans Henderickx cavexplorer at gmail.com
Sun Jan 24 05:05:26 CST 2016


Finally the remark is made, are we discussing an identical species here, 
could there possibly be a difference, f.i. in the eyes.

The truth is: we will probably never know for sure 100% now. Unless somebody 
compares the two holotypes on the same desk, and makes a proper micro-CT 
scan reconstruction of both specimens to visualise the important parts from 
the same edge (see Henderickx et al, 2013, 
http://zoobank.org/0FAD22E6-6384-4682-A375-F59CF4BD9387,  about strepsiptera 
in amber). (my name is written erroneously 7 times without the second 'e' in 
Henderickx in the ZooBank registration, so this whole publication might be 
invalid :) ).
 The differences with Engel's specimen are not pointed out in Pohl's 
publication since his specimen/publication is not mentioned nor dicussed in 
Pohl's 2016 publication. (though it was online and easely findable for 
months in 2015)

The thorax of Pohl's specimen is mostly dissolved in the amber (not visible 
any more), the specimen of Engel is dark blurry (at least on pictures), 
laterally embedded and could have been prepared and illustrated better 
(especially the head). Only light microscopy is used for the diagnosis of 
both specimens. So what are we comparing here? It's a well known problem, 
most amber fossils from that age (Cretaceous) have been squeezed, been under 
the influence of temperatures and pressure and they all look like different 
species at first glance. They are often deformed, flattened, or assymetric, 
wich is clearly visible in these publications. Engel illustrates the eyes 
with two dark pictures (no line drawings of this part), taken from a 
different corner, and he calls them 'large'. Engel mentions the number of 
ommatidia (more than 50),  Pohl makes line drawings of the head with eyes, 
he does not mention the number of ommatidia but there are also more than 50 
countable on his drawing and he writes "eyes relatively small" The head is 
deformed and assymetrical, see drawing 7B. There is usually a certain 
tolerancy handled in descriptions of Cretaceous amber fossils (Mark Judson, 
personal communication), otherwise nothing can be described, no complete 
dinosaur has ever been found.

Both Strepsiptera species have the about the same size (3mm vs 2,67 mm), the 
same orthognatous heads with the same typical shape, also the short 
eight-segmented antenna and flabella are identical as well as the genital 
region, the wing shape and the wing venation. The same goes for the maxilla 
and the mandibulae, again, based on the different kinds of illustrations of 
both authors. They are from the same era and from the same mining. Besides, 
this species is not particulary rare in Burmese amber, I have two more 
specimens of this species in Burmese amber from the same location and era in 
my collection, and it must be said, they all differ very slightly.

To me it looks the same species for both authors.

Hans Henderickx 

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