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Current knowledge of Coleoptera (Insecta) from the Lower Cretaceous Lebanese amber and taxonomical notes for some Mesozoic groups

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This paper overviews more than 39 families of fossil Coleoptera from Lower Cretaceous Lebanese amber from nine outcrops. Lebanese amber contains the oldest representatives of the families Scydmaenidae (considered by some as a subfamily of Staphylinidae), Ptiliidae, Elodophalmidae, Clambidae, Throscidae, Lebanophytidae fam. n., Ptilodactylidae, Cantharidae, Melyridae, Dasytidae, Dermestidae, Ptinidae, Kateretidae, Erotylidae, Latridiidae, Laemophloeidae, Salpingidae, Anthicidae, Melandryidae, Aderidae, Curculionidae (Scolytinae). The families Chelonariidae and Scraptiidae are known from both Lebanese amber and Baissa, with both sites having a comparable age. The subfamilies Trechinae (Carabidae), Euaesthetinae (Staphylinidae) and Liparochrinae (Hybosoridae) first appear in the fossil record in Lebanese amber. The Coleoptera in Lebanese amber mostly belong to groups with arboreal habits (as found today in wood and tree fungi). Eochelonarium belle gen. et sp. n., Rhizophtoma synchrotronica sp. n., Rhizobactron marinae gen et sp. n. and Atetrameropsis subglobosa gen. et sp. n. are described from Lebanese amber. A new subfamily in the family Cerophytidae is proposed for Aphytocerus communis Zherichin, 1977 (Aphytocerinae subfam. n.) and new genus Baissopsis gen.nov. is erected for Baissophytum amplus Chang, Kirejtshuk et Ren, 2011. Also a new interpretation of the taxon “Lasiosynidae” is provided by placing it as a subfamily in the family Eulichadidae with two genera (Lasiosyne Tan, Ren et Shih, 2007 and Bupredactyla Kirejtshuk, Chang, Ren et Shih, 2010), while the other genera initially regarded as “Lasiosynidae” were tentatively transferred into Eulichadinae sensu n. (Mesodascilla Martynov, 1926; Tarsomegamerus Zhang, 2005; Brachysyne Tan et Ren, 2009; Anacapitis Yan, 2009; Parelateriformius Yan et Wang, 2010 and Cretasyne Yan, Wang et Zhang, 2013) with the new synonymy of Tarsomegamerus and Parelateriformius syn. n. The genus Mesaplus Hong, 1983 described in the family Triaplidae is also transvered to Eulichadinae. The genera Artematopodites Ponomarenko, 1990; Dzeregia Ponomarenko, 1985 and Glaphyropteroides Handlirsch, 1906 proposed for species known only by separate elytra and recently included in the “family” Lasiosynidae (Yan et al., 2013) are regarded as Elateriformia incertae sedis. The first insect from the newly discovered outcrops of Nabaa Es-Sukkar – Brissa: Caza (District) Sir Ed-Danniyeh, Mouhafazet (Governorate) Loubnan Esh-Shimali (North Lebanon) is described and the first general description of this outcrop is made.


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