Notiothauma reedi  McLachlan, 1877


Diagnosis:  This is a very distinctive species – the body is flattened, covered with bristles, and tends to run actively over the ground like a cockroach.  It has a long rostrum and wings have an elaborate network of reticulate crossveins. There is a notal organ on the 3rd abdominal tergum; an unpaired medial tergal process on the 5th tergum; paired divergent processes on the 7th tergum; fused 9th tergum and sternum; and bulbous male basistyles (Crampton, 1931; Mickoleit, 1971a; 1971b).


Distribution – Geographical:  The lowland Nothofagus forests west of the Andes Mountains from Valparaiso south to Osorno, Chile.


Distribution – Temporal:  This species appears to be monovoltine, with greatest adult emergence in the spring and autumn (Rebolledo, et al., 1990).


Ecology:  Adults of this species have been captured feeding on oatmeal trails in Nothofagus forests at night (Peña, 1968).  They have also been noted feeding on the corpses of small vertebrate animals (Jara-Soto, 2007).


Biology:  Little is known of the life history and immature stages of this species.  Eggs have been laid by gravid females in August and September (Jara-Soto & Jerez, 2009).


Notes:  This is the sole living representative of a family that includes several fossil species, so that this species might truly be termed a living fossil.  The genus Eomerope includes four Cenozoic species: E. macabeensis Archibald, Rasnitsyn, and Akhmetiev from the Eocene of British Columbia; E. torticiformis Cockerell from the Eocene of Florissant; E. pacifica Ponomarenko & Rasnitsyn from the Paleocene Tadushi Formation; and E. asiatica Ponomarenko & Rasnitsyn from the Eocene or Oligocene of the Amgu River of Far Eastern Russia.  Two genera of Eomeropeidae, Tsuchingothauma and Typhothauma, have been reported from the Jurassic fossil beds of China (Ren & Shih, 2005). The oldest known eomeropids are from the Triassic (Ponomarenko & Rasnitsyn, 1974).




Crampton, G.C. 1931. The Genitalia and Terminal Structures of the Male of the Archaic Mecopteran Notiothauma reedi, compared with related Holometabola from the Standpoint of Phylogeny. Psyche, 38:1-21.


Jara-Soto, E., and V. Jerez.  2007.  Micoestructura coriónica del Huevo de Notiothauma reedi McLachlan, 1877 (Mecoptera: Eomeropidae).  Boletin de Biodiversidad de Chile  1(1):19-23.


Jara-Soto, E., C. Muñoz-Escobar, and V. Jerez.  2007.  Registro de Notiothauma reedi McLachlan, 1877 (Mecoptera: Eomeropeidae) en cadavers de vertebrados en la comuna de Concepcion, Chile.  Revista Chilena de Entomologia 33:35-40.


Mickoleit, G. 1971a. Das Exoskelet von Notiothauma reedi MacLachlan, ein Beitrag zur Morphologie und Phylogenie der Mecoptera (Insecta). Zeitschrift fur Morphologie der Tiere, 69:318-362.


-----. 1971b. Zur phylogenetischen und funktionellen Bedeutung der sogenannten Notalorgane der Mecoptera (Insecta, Mecoptera). Zeitschrift fur Morphologie der Tiere, 69:1-8.


Peña, L.E. 1964. Los Mecoptera de Chile, nueva localidad para el Notiothauma reedi Mc.L. y clave para reconocer las especies de este orden. Not. mens. Mus. nac. Santiago, 95:2-3.


-----. 1967. Ambiente y comportamiento de Notiothauma reedi Mc.L. (Mecoptera-Notiothaumidae).


-----. 1968. Natural History Notes on Notiothauma. Discovery (Yale University), 4:42-44.


Ponomarenko , A. G. and Rasnitsyn , A. P. 1974. New Mesozoic and Cenozoic Protomecoptera . Paleontological Journal , (8) : 493-507.


Rebolledo, R.R., L.L. Aldo, S.M. Gutiérrez, and S.B. Guiñez.  1990.  Biological record of Notiothauma

reedi MacLachlan (Mecoptera: Eomeropeidae) in the nature reserve at Cerro Nielol (Temuco, Chile).  Revista chilena de Entomologia 18: 25-28.


Ren, D., and C.-K. Shih.  2005.  The first discovery of fossil Eomeropids from China (Insecta, Mecoptera).  Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica  30(2):275-280.


A Bibliography of Mecoptera


A World Catalog of Mecoptera

The Mecoptera of Taiwan

The Mecoptera of North America


The Mecoptera of Chile


The Mecoptera of Mexico (in progress)


The Mecoptera of Gaoligongshan, Yunnan, China (in progress)


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