Paleontological Journal

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 146–154 | Cite as

Digestive System of the Early Cretaceous Insect Saurophthirus longipes Ponomarenko (Insecta, ?Aphaniptera, Saurophthiroidea)

  • A. P. Rasnitsyn
  • O. D. Strelnikova


Information on the internal organization of Saurophthirus longipes Ponomarenko, 1976 from the Baissa locality in the western Transbaikalia is described and supplemented with the data on its digestive system. The entire intestine is straight, without bends or outgrowths. The proventriculus is hypertrophied and sclerotized; the midgut is wide, saclike; the hindgut is short, straight, undifferentiated probably due to pedomorphosis. Element analysis of the intestine content has not corroborated hematophagy with certainty. Nevertheless, the previously proposed hypothesis for the biology of Saurophthirus seems most plausible; it infers hematophagy on the wing membrane of pterosaurs and the gonotrophic cycle, as female returned into aquatic refuge after blood sucking.


Cretaceous flea ancient hematophagy insect intestine proventriculus pedomorphosis gonotrophic cycle Baissa Saurophthirodea 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Borissiak Paleontological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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