Tarachoptera is an extinct order of insects, currently solely known from the mid Cretaceous aged Burmese amber. It belongs to Amphiesmenoptera alongside living Lepidopterans (butterflies and moths) and Trichoptera (caddiesflies), but is outside the clade containing the two groups, with an estimated divergence during the Upper Triassic, and therefore over a 100 million year ghost lineage. It currently contains only one family, the Tarachocelidae, which was named in a publication in 2017 a few months before the order itself was published. As the manuscript was in submission, an additional specimen belonging to a new genus justified creating a separate order. Additional species were described in 2018 and 2020. A notable character is the possession of wing scales like members of Lepidoptera, but these were suggested to have been evolved in parallel evolution from hairs or setae. Their flattened morphology and small size suggests they were adapted to living in small crevaces, the morphology of the mouth suggests that they were phytophagous, and ingested small particles, perhaps including pollen grains.
Temporal range: Cenomanian
Mey, Wichard, Müller and Wang, 2017
- Tarachocelis Mey, Wichard, Müller et Wang, 2017
- Tarachocelis microlepidopterella Mey, Wichard, Müller et Wang, 2017
- Kinitocelis Mey, Wichard, Müller et Wang, 2017
- Kinitocelis brevicostata Mey, Wichard, Müller et Wang, 2017
- Kinitocelis divisonotata Mey, Wichard, Müller et Wang, 2017
- Kinitocelis hennigi Mey, Wichard, Müller et Wang, 2017
- Kinitocelis macroptera Mey et al, 2020
- Kinitocelis sparsella Mey et al, 2018
- Retortocelis Mey et al, 2018
- Retortocelis longella Mey et al, 2018
- Retortocelis minimella Mey et al, 2018
- Retortocelis spicipalpia Mey et al, 2020
- Retortocelis tyloptera Mey et al, 2018
- Mey, Wolfram; Wichard, Wilfried; Ross, Emma; Ross, Andrew (January 2018). "On the systematic position of a highly derived amphiesmenopteran insect from Burmese amber (Insecta, Amphiesmenoptera)". Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 107 (2–3): 249–254. doi:10.1017/S1755691017000330. ISSN 1755-6910.
- Mey, Wolfram; Wichard, Wilfried; Müller, Patrick; Wang, Bo (2017-03-24). "The blueprint of the Amphiesmenoptera – Tarachoptera, a new order of insects from Burmese amber (Insecta, Amphiesmenoptera)". Fossil Record. 20 (2): 129–145. doi:10.5194/fr-20-129-2017. ISSN 2193-0074.
- Mey, W.; Wichard, W.; Müller, P.; Ross, E.; Ross, A. (October 2018). "New taxa of Tarachoptera from Burmese amber (Insecta, Amphiesmenoptera)". Cretaceous Research. 90: 154–162. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2018.04.006.
- Mey, Wolfram; Wichard, Wilfried; Müller, Patrick; Wang, Bo (2020-06-23). "Descriptions of two new species of Tarachoptera from Burmese amber (Insecta, Amphiesmenoptera: Tarachoptera)". Contributions to Entomology = Beiträge zur Entomologie. 70: 181–188 Seiten. doi:10.21248/CONTRIB.ENTOMOL.70.1.181-188.