O. D. Strelnikova and A. P. Rasnitsyn

A preliminary study of the respiratory and alimentary systems of the Early Cretaceous "flea" Saurophthirus longipes Ponomarenko, 1976 (Insecta, ?Aphaniptera, Saurophthiridae).

Number: 327, Pages: 1 - 7

The respiratory and alimentary systems of female Saurophthirus longipes display an unusual combination of plesiomorphic and specialized characters. All three pairs of tracheal trunks are retained, unusually wide, grouped as two tight clusters of three trunks at each body side, and opening into two pairs of enlarged spiracles on the mesothorax and the 8th abdominal segment. The proventriculus is enlarged as well, sclerotized, with no acanthae discernible; the midgut is simple, sac-like; the hindgut is also simple, short, straight, with no rectum differentiated. These observations suggest that the previously advanced hypothesis of Mesozoic "fleas" as parasites of the wing membrane of pterosaurs needs revision.

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