• CAROLIN HAUG Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Faculty of Biology, Großhaderner Str. 2, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany; GeoBio-Center at LMU, Richard-Wagner-Str. 10, 80333 München, Germany.
  • RICARDO PÉREZ-DE LA FUENTE Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford
  • VIKTOR BARANOV Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Faculty of Biology, Großhaderner Str. 2, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany;Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Avd. Americo Vespucio 26, 41092 Seville, Spain (present address).
  • GIDEON T. HAUG Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Faculty of Biology, Großhaderner Str. 2, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany
  • CHRISTINE KIESMÜLLER University of Greifswald, Zoological Institute and Museum, Cytology and Evolutionary Biology, Soldmannstr. 23, 17489 Greifswald, Germany
  • ANA ZIPPEL Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Faculty of Biology, Großhaderner Str. 2, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany
  • MARIE K. HÖRNIG University of Greifswald, Zoological Institute and Museum, Cytology and Evolutionary Biology, Soldmannstr. 23, 17489 Greifswald, Germany.University Medical Center Rostock, Medical Biology and Electron Microscopy Center, Strempel-Str. 14, 18057 Rostock, Germany
  • JOACHIM T. HAUG Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich), Faculty of Biology, Großhaderner Str. 2, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany;GeoBio-Center at LMU, Richard-Wagner-Str. 10, 80333 München, Germany.



Rovno Amber, Eocene, Neuroptera, ontogeny, heterochrony, recapitulation


During ontogenetic development, insects can undergo quite drastic changes (metamorphosis) until the adult stage is reached. A substantial part of this development in one group of Insecta, Holometabola, takes place during the pupa stage. Despite the pupa being recognised as an important phase, rather few depictions of pupae exist in the literature. We report here the first find of a fossil pupa of the lacewing group Mantispidae. The specimen represents an exuvia and is enclosed in Ukrainian Rovno amber, Eocene in age (c. 35–40 million years). We review the entire record of extant pupae of Mantispidae depicted in the literature or in online image repositories. With the aid of elliptic Fourier analysis, we compare the outline of the femur of the foreleg (raptorial appendage in the adults) of pupae and adults of Mantispidae. The pupae are all very similar concerning the femur, while the adults show a larger morphological diversity, particularly the extinct forms. Furthermore, our results indicate that the forelegs do not become increasingly complex throughout ontogenetic stages, but instead undergo an indirect development. According to the low variation in morphology seen in the pupa stage in Mantispidae, it is plausible that it represents a phylotypic stage for the group, i.e. a phase characterised by a significantly lower variability than other stages.


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Received 2022-07-09
Accepted 2023-01-25
Published 2023-02-24