Burmese amber reveals a new stem lineage of whirligig beetle (Coleoptera: Gyrinidae) based on the larval stage

Grey T. Gustafson, Mariano C. Michat, Michael Balke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Burmese amber is well known for preserving unique extinct lineages of insects. Here, we describe a new fossil beetle in its larval stage from Burmese amber. Bayesian and parsimony phylogenetic analysis of 50 morphological characters support this fossil as being sister to both the tribes Dineutini and Orectochilini, representing an extinct stem lineage in Gyrininae. It is described here as a new genus and species of whirligig beetle, Chimerogyrus gigagalea gen. & sp. nov., a taxon that preserves remarkable intermediate features between the whirligig beetle tribe Gyrinini and the crown Orectochilini and Dineutini. This new taxon preserves key features for studying the evolution of characters within the larval stage of the Gyrinidae and highlights the importance of Burmese amber for preserving both stem and crown lineages present during the mid-Cretaceous, before the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1232-1248
Number of pages17
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquatic beetles
  • Cretaceous
  • Fossil
  • Larva
  • Resin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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