Australian Triassic Insect Fossils

Name: Class Insecta: Orders Blattodea, Hempitera, Coleoptera

Geological Time: Lower Cretaceous Late Aptian-Cenomanian (108-92 million years ago)

Size: Hemiptera; 8 mm by 4 mm; Blattodea: 11 mm by 3 mm; Coleoptera: 4 mm by 2 mm

Location: Esk Formation, Toogoolawah Group, Windera Creek, Murgon, Queensland, Australia

This is a set of parts of insects from a recently discovered Triassic formation in Australia. While they were listed as from the Aranbanga Volcanic Group, they are definitely of sedimentary and not igneous origin. The region is home to the Esk Trough which contains the Esk shale, a far more likely deposit. The region is the site of a producing gold mine, so data is not as freely dispensed as might be the case under other circumstances. Also, due to the recent nature of the discovery, little has as yet been published in the literature. At any rate, insect fossils are found near Sydney in middle Triassic sandstones, and in late Triassic shales such as this area of Queensland and Northern Australia. Three orders are represented here. Top: Hemilytra or wing cover of an undescribed Hemiptera. Right: Cockroach tegmen (modified leathery wing), Order Blattodea. Left: Abdomen of undescribed beetle (Coleoptera). The shale has preserved fine details in each case, from the segmentation of the abdomen to venation in the wing and cover.

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