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Temporal range: Aptian, 122.1 Ma
Anurognathid jaws.jpg
Variation in anurognathid jaw shape, notice Vesperopterylus (D)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Family: Anurognathidae
Subfamily: Anurognathinae
Genus: Vesperopterylus
et al., 2017
Type species
Vesperopterylus lamadongensis
et al., 2017

Vesperopterylus (meaning "dusk wing") is a genus of anurognathid pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of China, the geologically youngest member of its group. Notably, Vesperopterylus appears to have a reversed first toe, which would have been suited for gripping; it was likely arboreal, climbing or clinging to tree branches with curved, sharp claws. It also has a relatively short tail, in contrast with its tailless (Jeholopterus) and long-tailed (Dendrorhynchoides) relatives. It was first described and named by Lü Junchang et al. While the original spelling of the name was Versperopterylus, this was a typo, and was emended by the authors in accordance with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.[1]


In 2021, a phylogenetic analysis conducted by Xuefang Wei and colleagues recovered Vesperopterylus within the subfamily Anurognathinae, a subfamily within the family Anurognathidae. Within the subfamily, Vesperopterylus was recovered in a derived position, sister taxon to Anurognathus.[2] Below is a cladogram representing their phylogenetic analysis:


"Dimorphodon" weintraubi


Sinomacrops bondei

Batrachognathus volans


Dendrorhynchoides curvidentatus

Luopterus mutoudengensis

Jeholopterus ninchengensis

Anurognathus ammoni

Vesperopterylus lamadongensis


  1. ^ Lü, J.; Meng, Q.; Wang, B.; Liu, D.; Shen, C.; Zhang, Y. (2017). "Short note on a new anurognathid pterosaur with evidence of perching behaviour from Jianchang of Liaoning Province, China" (PDF). In Hone, D.W.E.; Witton, M.P.; Martill, D.M. (eds.). New Perspectives on Pterosaur Palaeobiology. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. Vol. 455. London: The Geological Society of London. pp. 95–104. doi:10.1144/SP455.16.
  2. ^ Wei, X.; Pêgas, R. V.; Shen, C.; Guo, Y.; Ma, W.; Sun, D.; Zhou, X. (2021). "Sinomacrops bondei, a new anurognathid pterosaur from the Jurassic of China and comments on the group". PeerJ. 9: e11161. doi:10.7717/peerj.11161.