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The fossil crown wasp Electrostephanus petiolatus Brues in Baltic Amber (Hymenoptera, Stephanidae): designation of a neotype, revised classification, and a key to amber Stephanidae

Author(s): Michael Engel | Jaime Ortega-Blanco

Journal: ZooKeys
ISSN 1313-2989

Volume: 4;
Start page: 55;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Hymenoptera | Stephanomorpha | Stephanoidea | Stephanidae | Electrostephaninae | Electrostephanus | neotype | taxonomy | Tertiary | Eocene | amber

The fossil crown wasp Electrostephanus petiolatus Brues comb. rev. (Stephanidae, Electrostephaninae) is redescribed from a single male preserved in middle Eocene Baltic Amber. The holotype was lost or destroyed around the time of World War II and subsequent interpretations of its identity have been based solely on the brief descriptive comments provided by Brues in his original account. The new specimen matches the original description and illustration provided by Brues in every detail and we hereby consider them to be conspecific, selecting the specimen as a neotype for the purpose of stabilizing the nomenclature for this fossil species. This neotype exhibits a free first metasomal tergum and sternum, contrary to the assertion of previous workers who indicated these to be fused. Accordingly, does indeed belong to the genus Electrostephanus Brues rather than to Denaeostephanus Engel & Grimaldi (Stephaninae). Electrostephanus petiolatus is transferred to a new subgenus, Electrostephanodes n. subgen., based on its elongate pseudo-petiole and slender gaster, but may eventually warrant generic status as the phylogenetic placement of these fossil lineages continues to be clarified. A revised key to the Baltic amber crown wasps is provided.
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