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  • 50 million-year-old fossil assassin bug has unusually well-preserved genitalia

    Photos of both halves of the fossil, showing the assassin bug's banded legs and abdomen, and with a view of the genital capsule called the pygophore, which is shaped like a tiny almond with some hard structures inside.

    Recovered from the Green River Formation in present-day Colorado, this fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs. Researchers named the specimen Aphelicophontes danjuddi. A small beetle was also fossilized with the specimen.

    Photos by Daniel Swanson /Courtesy Palaeontological Association

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  • Editor’s notes

    To reach Sam Heads, email swheads@illinois.edu.
    To reach Daniel Swanson, email drswanny@gmail.com.  

    The paper “A new remarkably preserved fossil assassin bug (Insecta, Heteroptera, Reduviidae) from the Eocene Green River Formation of Colorado” is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau.

    DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1349