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A new fossil genus and species of snakefly (Raphidioptera: Mesoraphidiidae) from Lower Cretaceous Lebanese amber, with a discussion of snakefly phylogeny and fossil history

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Lebanoraphidia nana gen. et sp.n. is described from the Lower Cretaceous amber of Lebanon and represents the smallest known Raphidioptera. The new taxon is quite similar in its minute size, large compound eyes and wing venation to Nanoraphidia electroburmica (Mesoraphidiidae) from the Lower Cretaceous amber of Myanmar, as well as to 'Mesoraphidia' luzzii from the Upper Cretaceous amber of New Jersey, and Cantabroraphidia marcanoi from the Lower Cretaceous El Soplao amber of Spain. For the species 'Mesoraphidia' luzzii a new genus, Grimaldiraphidia, is erected, because it would otherwise render the genus Mesoraphidia paraphyletic. 'Mesoraphidia' durlstonenesis, 'M.' gaoi, 'M.' heteroneura, 'M.' mitchelli, 'M.' parvula and 'M.' purbeckensis are also transferred to this new genus Grimaldiraphidia. Four Cretaceous amber genera comprise minute specimens and represent a distinct clade within Mesoraphidiidae, for which a new tribe, Nanoraphidiini, is proposed. The phylogeny and fossil record of Raphidioptera is discussed and the suborders Priscaenigmatomorpha and Raphidiomorpha are supported. A revised definition and composition of Mesoraphidiidae (including Cretinocellia) is suggested. 'Siboptera' medialis is transferred to the genus Mesoraphidia. The synonymy of Alloraphidiidae with Mesoraphidiidae is rejected and Alloraphidiinae is restored as separate subfamily that probably represents the sister group of Mesoraphidiinae. The genera Caloraphidia, Styporaphidia and Ororaphidia are transferred to a new subfamily Ororaphidiinae within Mesoraphidiidae. The genus Metaraphidia is excluded from Mesoraphidiidae and attributed to a new monotypic family Metaraphidiidae, which is considered as sister group of Neoraphidioptera (Raphidiidae+Inocelliidae) within the new taxon Euraphidioptera, which is the sister group to Mesoraphidiidae within the new taxon Raphidiformia. Arariperaphidia rochai is transferred to "Baissopteridae" that might rather be a paraphyletic grade of basal stem group representatives.


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