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Type: Article
Published: 2023-08-28
Page range: 356–364
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The first Phengodidae fossil (Coleoptera: Elateroidea): Cretocydistus wittmeri gen. et sp. nov. from the mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber

Laboratório de Entomologia, Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, A1-107, Bloco A, Av. Carlos Chagas Filho, 373, Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Laboratory of Biodiversity & Molecular Evolution, Czech Advanced Technology Research Institute, Slechtitelu 27, Palacky University, 783 71 Olomouc, Czech Republic; Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, 17. listopadu 50, Palacky University, 779 00, Olomouc, Czech Republic
2F., No. 138, Aly. 118, Ln. 235, Dedong St., East Dist., Tainan City 701030, Taiwan, China
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, 17. listopadu 50, Palacky University, 779 00, Olomouc, Czech Republic
Coleoptera Elateroidea bioluminescence Cydistinae paedomorphosis railroad-worm taxonomy


Elateroidea superfamily holds a huge diversity, morphological variation and a myriad of habitat specializations. The presence of bioluminescence and paedomorphosis renders the group as an interesting model for several studies. The “lampyroid” clade manifests both features, in a variety of light displays and body-forms, but the small fossil records hampers any advance in understanding the origin of these characteristics, as well as the biogeographic history of the group. We present here the description of a new fossil species, Cretocydistus wittmeri gen. et sp. nov. from the mid-Cretaceous of northern Myanmar, the first fossil of the family Phengodidae. We putatively place the genus in the subfamily Cydistinae, which extant species are distributed in Asia Minor, the Levant, and Iran. We also discuss how the discovery of this fossil taxa influences the study of the family and the “lampyroid” clade evolutionary history and biogeography.


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