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Ancient Ephemeroptera-Collembola Symbiosis Fossilized in Amber Predicts Contemporary Phoretic Associations

Penney, D and McNeil, A and Green, DI and Bradley, RS and Jepson, JE and Withers, PJ and Preziosi, RF (2012) Ancient Ephemeroptera-Collembola Symbiosis Fossilized in Amber Predicts Contemporary Phoretic Associations. PLoS ONE, 7 (10). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

X-ray computed tomography is used to identify a unique example of fossilized phoresy in 16 million-year-old Miocene Dominican amber involving a springtail being transported by a mayfly. It represents the first evidence (fossil or extant) of phoresy in adult Ephemeroptera and only the second record in Collembola (the first is also preserved in amber). This is the first record of Collembola using winged insects for dispersal. This fossil predicts the occurrence of similar behaviour in living springtails and helps explain the global distribution of Collembola today. © 2012 Penney et al.

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