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Short description: Extinct genus of insects

Temporal range: 99 Ma
Aethiocarenus burmanicus.jpg
Specimen in amber
Scientific classification edit
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Family: Alienopteridae
Genus: Aethiocarenus
A. burmanicus
Binomial name
Aethiocarenus burmanicus
Poinar & Brown, 2017

Aethiocarenus is an extinct genus of insects which has a single species Aethiocarenus burmanicus described from a 98.79 ±0.62 million year old fossil found in Burmese amber from the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar. The insect is unusual due to the vertex of the triangular head being attached to the pronotum as opposed to the hypotenuse. When first described Aethiocarenus was placed as the sole member of the family Aethiocarenidae and order Aethiocarenodea.[1] However, Aethiocarenus was later considered to be a nymph of Alienopterus.[2] Vršanský et al. (2018) considered Aethiocarenus to be an alienopterid nymph, but considered it distinct from other members of this group and deserving a separate genus rank.[3]


Aethiocarenus was probably an omnivore and had a long, narrow, flat body, and long slender legs. The eyes are at the sides of the head, allowing the insect to look behind. Glands on the neck indicate that the creature may have emitted chemicals to repel predators.[4][5]


  1. Poinar, George; Brown, Alex E. (2017). "An exotic insect Aethiocarenus burmanicus gen. et sp. nov. (Aethiocarenodea ord. nov., Aethiocarenidae fam. nov.) from mid-Cretaceous Myanmar amber". Cretaceous Research 72: 100–104. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2016.12.011.  (Same at researchgate - free)
  2. Hörnig, Marie K.; Haug, Joachim T.; Haug, Carolin (2017). "An exceptionally preserved 110 million years old praying mantis provides new insights into the predatory behavior of early mantodeans". PeerJ 5: e3605. doi:10.7717/peerj.3605. PMID 28761789. 
  3. Peter Vršanský; Günter Bechly; Qingqing Zhang; Edmund A. Jarzembowski; Tomáš Mlynský; Lucia Šmídová; Peter Barna; Matúš Kúdela et al. (2018). "Batesian insect-insect mimicry-related explosive radiation of ancient alienopterid cockroaches". Biologia 73 (10): 987–1006. doi:10.2478/s11756-018-0117-3. 
  4. "Ancient, scary and alien-looking specimen forms a rarity in the insect world – a new order". Oregon State University, News and Research Communications. 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  5. Hrala, Josh. "This Scary, Alien-Like Specimen Trapped in Amber Represents a Brand New Order of Insect" (in en-gb). ScienceAlert. 

Wikidata ☰ Q28531259 entry