Wealden Insects: An artist’s impression (Part 2)

Biddy Jarzembowski, Neil Watson and Ed Jarzembowski (UK) This collection of illustrations, the second in the series, continues with seven more watercolour insects from the Wealden. Fig. 7. A damselfly of the extinct genus and species, Cretacoenagrion alleni Jarzembowski, on a horsetail from the Weald Clay. It belongs to its own extinct family, Cretacoenagrioniidae, which shows some resemblance to living Coenagrion (which is usually blue-bodied) and Lestes (typically metallic green). However, we chose neither colour and opted for red, which is sometimes seen in south-eastern damselflies. Fig. 8. A true dragonfly belonging to an extinct genus and species, Angloaeschnidium toyei Fleck and Nel from the Weald Clay. This species of the extinct Mesozoic family, Aeschnidiidae, has distinct, dark-patterned wings. Female aeschnidiids display conspicuous ovipositors (pointed egg-laying organs like Panorpidium tessellatum, which was illustrated in Part 1 of this article). The body colour is therefore inspired by modern Cordulegaster, which also has a prominent ovipositor. The wings and legs have been repositioned or tucked away in this restoration, which shows the insect in directional flight. Fig. 9. A bush cricket belonging to an extinct genus and species, Pseudaboilus wealdensis Gorochov, Jarzembowski and Coram, from the Weald Clay. It belongs to the now relict family, Prophalangopsidae, and has dark-mottled forewings used in singing (stridulation) by males. The body colour is inspired by modern Prophalangopsis and Cyphoderris. Sadly, the former genus, the only prophalangopsid with fully-developed wings as in the fossil, is now thought to have become extinct due to human action.Fig. 10. … Read More

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