Propiestus archaicus, the first Mesozoic amber inclusion of piestine rove beetles and its evolutionary and biogeographical significance (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Piestinae)
Published on Oct 30, 2018in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 2.33
· DOI :10.1080/14772019.2018.1517282
Fossil records of piestine rove beetles are very limited, with only two definite species from Mesozoic Chinese compressions, a single taxon from mid-Eocene Baltic amber and a doubtful Oligocene compression fossil from France. Here, a remarkable new genus and species, Propiestus archaicus gen. et sp. nov., is described based on a well-preserved individual in Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber from northern Myanmar (Cenomanian, c. 99 Ma). It represents the first piestine fossil found in Mesozoic amber. The fine morphological characters preserved as an amber inclusion enable a confident systematic placement within the subfamily based on both our detailed observations and phylogenetic analyses. The resulting trees revealed a strongly supported sister-group relationship with the extant genus Piestus, comprising all currently known piestine species from the Neotropical region and one from the Nearctic. Our new discovery is congruent with a hypothesis of the Gondwanan affinity of insects found from Burmese amber. Co...