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This Critter Is Named for Günter Bechly

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Günter Bechly

From the May 2018 number of the journal Palaeontographica Section A, “Cratovitisma Bechly, 2007 (Blattaria: Umenocoleidae) recorded in Lebanese and Myanmar ambers”:

Cratovitisma odlreadi Bechly, 2007 — a beetle-like cockroach, known from single Lower Cretaceous sediment specimen from Crato in Brazil, was designated by monotypy. C. cortexi Sendi, sp.n. (Lebanon) and C. bechlyi Podstrelená, sp.n. (Myanmar) from Early and Late Cretaceous amber respectively reflect a specific bark niche with unique disruptive camouflage coloration and minimum morphological differences over the significant temporal (130–120–98 Ma) and spatial (Laurasia — Gondwana) gaps. The earliest derivation within the family is documented with significantly symplesiomorphic (with Jantaropterix Vršanský, 2003) fully carinated legs. 

Congratulations to our friend, colleague, and contributor Dr. Bechly, and to the abovementioned critter that had no idea in its long-ago lifetime that it would bear the name of such a distinguished paleontologist! 

The photo above is another species of the same genus that Dr. Bechly established in 2007. It is the holotype of Cratovitisma oldreadi from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of Ceara in northeastern Brazil. The new species, Cratovitisma bechlyi, is from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber.

You wouldn’t necessarily guess that a cockroach could be pretty, but that one is. Don’t you think?