The extinct parasitoid wasp family Spathiopterygidae is recorded for the first time from the mid-Cretaceous amber deposits of northern Myanmar, often referred to as Burmese amber. The family was previously known only from three species in Spanish (Albian) and New Jersey (Turonian) ambers, representing an otherwise western Eurasia/eastern North America distribution. The discovery of a new genus and species, Diaspathion ortegai Engel and Huang, gen. et sp. nov., reveals a novel combination of traits seemingly intermediary between the Albian and Turonian taxa. Comparisons are made between the known species and a revised key to genera is provided, along with some general remarks about challenges facing the study of fossil parasitoid wasps.
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We are thankful to Ryan C. McKellar and Vincent Perrichot for their helpful comments on an early draft of the manuscript. HDY would like to thank the National Basic Research Program of China ( 2012CB821903 ), Outstanding Youth Foundation of Jiangsu Province ( BK 2012049 ), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 91114201 ) for financial support. This is a contribution of the Division of Entomology, University of Kansas Natural History Museum, and to the team project, “Biodiversity: Origin, Structure, Evolution and Geology” granted to DA by the Lebanese University.
© 2014 Académie des sciences.