|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication:||2022|
|Authors:||T. Gao, Yin, X., Shih, C., Rasnitsyn, A. P., Emeljanov, A. F., Xu, X., Chen, S., Wang, C., Ren, D.|
|Keywords:||ectoparasitic insect, feather-feeding, fossil, Mesophthirus, mid-Cretaceous, Myanmar amber|
We described ten nymph specimens of an insect, Mesophthirus engeli (incertae sedis), from the mid-Cretaceous Myanmar (Burmese) amber, preserved together with partially damaged dinosaur feathers. Based on the ectoparasitic morphological characters of these tiny insect nymphs, we concluded that Mesophthirus engeli was the earliest known feather-feeding insect and that integument-feeding behaviors of insects appeared during or before the mid-Cretaceous along with the radiations of feathered dinosaurs including birds. Grimaldi and Vea raised some concerns about these feather-feeding insects and supposed that the nymphs of Mesophthirus engeli were crawlers of scale insects, i.e. nymphal stages of Coccoidea, coincidentally co-occurring with damaged feathers. Shcherbakov (2022, this issue) accepted and developed the argumentation of Grimaldi and Vea (2021). We would like to address their concerns here.
Paper by Shcherbakov (2022) see https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S0031030122030121 or https://phthiraptera.myspecies.info/node/95672