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A new genus and species of Micromalthidae from Burmese amber (Coleoptera: Archostemata)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2019

Department of Animal Science, Hartpury College, Hartpury GL19 3BE, UK.
Diying HUANG
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China. Email:
Chenyang CAI*
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China. Email: School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK.
*Corresponding author


Micromalthidae is a small relictual family of archostematan beetles that is well known for its unusual asexual reproductive system characterised by parthenogenetic, viviparous, larviform females and sterile adults. Here we describe the first micromalthid beetle from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (ca.100Ma). Protomalthus burmaticus gen. et sp. nov. differs from all presently known micromalthid beetles by the presence of distinct frontoclypeal, labroclypeal, and medicranial sutures. The finding represents the first Mesozoic record of an adult micromalthid beetle and confirms a Gondwanan distribution of the family during the Cretaceous. A list of micromalthid beetles is provided, together with a key to extant and fossil species.

Copyright © The Royal Society of Edinburgh 2019 

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