New fossil damselflies from Baltic Amber, with description of a new species, a redescription of Litheuphaea carpenteri Fraser, and a discussion on the phylogeny of Epallagidae (Zygotera: Caloptera)


Litheuphaea ludwigi sp. n. is described as first representative of Epallagidae from Baltic amber. The holotype of Litheuphaea carpenteri Fraser, 1955 is redescribed, the phylogenetic position of all fossil Epallagidae is discussed, and a new phylogenetic classification is proposed. The authorship of Selys (1853) for the family-group name Euphaeidae is rejected, since the “légion Euphaea” proposed by Selys is neither a noun in the nominative plural, nor ending in a latinized suffix. Consequently, the correct family name must be Epallagidae Needham, 1903, since Euphaeidae were first established by Jacobson & Bianchi (1905) and thus have to be considered as a junior subjective synonym. Similarly, all the other “légions” proposed by Selys are rejected as available family-group taxa, so that the next available family-group name has to be used, e.g. Heliocharitidae Tillyard & Fraser, 1939 instead of Dicteriadidae Montgomery, 1959 (nec Selys, 1853). Parazacallitinae Nel, 1988 is considered as junior subjective synonym of Eodichromatinae Cockerell, 1923 which is regarded as an extinct subfamily of Epallagidae, comprising the sister-tribes Litheuphaeini Bechly, 1996 and Eodichromatini stat. nov. for the sister-genera Eodichroma Cockerell, 1923 and Parazacallites Nel, 1988. Zacallitidae Cockerell, 1928 is restored as a distinct family and preliminarily regarded as the sister-group of Epallagidae. A unique fossil odonate is briefly described, which represents a damselfly in Baltic amber that is just emerging from the exuvia (probably Platystictidae or Megapodagrionidae). An annotated new catalogue of all known odonates in amber is provided, including 46 specimens from Lebanon, Dominican, Baltic and Saxonian amber, of which 3 specimens are adult Anisoptera and 5 specimens are exuviae. A lectotype for Platycnemisl antiqua (Pictet & Hagen, 1856) is designated and illustrated.

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