Solnhofen Phasmida Insect Fossil Propygolampis

Propygolampis bronni

Fossil Insects, Phasmida

Geological Time: Late Jurassic Kimmeridgian Stage

Size: Body 55 mm Legspan 115 mm

Fossil Site: Solnhofen Limestone Lagerstätte, Eichstatt, Germany

This is a fine example of a large insect from the lithographic limestone deposits of Solnhofen, Germany, known as Propygolampis bronni. These 150 million year old deposits are famous for their exceptionally well-preserved organisms, the most famous of which are the handful of specimens of the ancient bird Archaeopteryx. Crustaceans, Insects, Fish, and others are also preserved with fine detail. Although it looks much like a modern-day water-strider (Hemiptera: Gerridae), its closet relatives are the stick insects. It is presumed to have made its living as the water-striders do, skating across the surface of the water, preying on other insects that it came across. The first two legs are typically preserved extended forward as seen here. It was previously known as Chresmoda obscura, but that name was found to be preoccupied by a short-horned grasshopper.

Also see: Solnhofen Fossils

click fossil insect pictures to enlarge

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