Order Diptera, Suborder Nematocera, Superfamily Tipuloidea,
Time: Lower Cretaceous (~125-121 m.y.a.)
Insect fossil is 8 mm long on 80 mm by 40 mm
Site: Yixian Formation, Huangbangi Valley, Beipiao, Liaoning Province
Formation in Liaoning
Province in northeast China has remained one of the hottest paleontology
study sites on earth the past two decades, and is
perhaps most famous for discoveries of feathered dinosaurs.
dinosaurs to birds to
reptiles with color patterns, the fine lake
silts of Liaoning preserved the most intricate of life from more
than 100 million years ago. Relatively hard to preserve insects
are well represented in the diverse Liaoning biota.
Dipteran fossil is known as a crane fly and has many
fine details preserved. It has been estimated that one million
that so delicate an animal could be so well preserved in
the fine silt that formed Yixian.
Order Diptera comprise mosquitoes, gnats, midges
and others flies. This huge insect order is estimated to have
species. 240,000 species of mosquitoes, gnats, midges and others,
although under half of these (about 120,000 species) have been
Diptera are hypothsized to have evolved from Mecoptera with the
first true Dipterans known from the fossil record in the