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Article
Published: 2018-09-20

Reassessment of known fossil Pyraloidea (Lepidoptera) with descriptions of the oldest fossil pyraloid and a crambid larva in Baltic amber

Finnish Museum of Natural History, Zoology Unit, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
Natural History Museum Aarhus, Wilhelm Meyers Allé 10, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, National Museum Natural History, E-517, MRC 168, Washington, DC 20013-7012.
Lepidoptera Pyralidae Baltianania yantarnia copal Crambidae fossil record Eopyralis morsae Gallerites keleri Glendotricha olgae Petisca dryellina Pyralites obscurus Pyralites preecei

Abstract

The identifications of known fossils currently placed in the lepidopteran superfamily Pyraloidea are critically re-examined. Of the eleven fossils examined, only three are confirmed to show morphological characters supporting placement in the superfamily. These fossils include a crambid larva in Baltic Amber, Baltianania yantarnia, Solis gen. n. et sp. n. and the oldest known fossil pyraloid, Eopyralis morsae Simonsen, gen. n. et sp. n. The third fossil, Glendotricha olgae Kusnezov, 1941, displays apomorphic characters for Pyraloidea, but is shown to be an inclusion in copal, not Baltic amber as had been reported. Seven fossil specimens lack reliable characters and cannot be assigned to Pyraloidea with certainty: Pyralites obscurus Heer, 1856; Pyralites preecei Jarzembowski, 1980; Petisca dryellina Martins-Neto, 1998; three fossil larvae tentatively identified as Pyralidae by Zeuner (1931); and Gallerites keleri Kernbach, 1967. A possible fossil pyraloid in Mizunami amber could not be located in museum collections and available literature does not provide details to assess the validity of the identification. We discuss the contribution of the reliably identified fossils towards better understanding the evolutionary history of Pyraloidea.

 

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