Biddy Jarzembowski, Neil Watson and Ed Jarzembowski (UK)
This is the third part of the mini-series in which selected Early Cretaceous insects from the Wealden of Southern England are restored in colour for the first time. The aim is to give a visual idea of the variety of British insect life some 130mya at the height of the ‘Age of Dinosaurs’. There are some notable absentees like butterflies, ants and bees – these had yet to evolve. Some insect groups are no longer found in the UK, such as termites, archaic beetles and silky lacewings. New insect species, including the first Wealden earwigs, have been collected during the geologically short time during which the figures were painted. Hopefully, these will appear in future issues.
While based on actual fossils, the restorations are only intended as models, which may be corrected and modified as new information is unearthed. We thank Fred Clouter (Minster) and Pete Austen (Seaford) for help with imaging; for illustrations of fossil insects (mainly two colour) see:
Chapters 13 and 14 in: Batten, D. J. (ed.). 2011. English Wealden Fossils. Palaeontological Association Field Guide to Fossils, 14.
Jarzembowski, E. A. 1984. Early Cretaceous insects from southern England. Modem Geology, London 9: 71‑93, pls I‑IV.