Wasps (Insecta: Vespida = Hymenoptera) from the Early Cretaceous of Spain



Wasps and their relatives from the Lower Cretaceous lithographic limestones of Spain have been studied. Thirty specimens representing 30 species (4 of them with undetermined placement), at least 21 genera and 11 families are recorded. We erect 1 new family - Andrenelidae-, 6 new genera and 11 new species: Meiaghilarella cretacica n.gen., n.sp. (Sepulcidae Ghilarellinae), Eosyntexis catalonicus n.sp., Cretosyntexis montsecensis n.gen., n.sp. (Anaxyelidae Syntexinae), Montsecephialtites zherikhini n.gen., n.sp. (Ephialtitidae Ephialtitinae), Karataus hispanicus n.sp. (Ephialtitidae Symphytopterinae), Manlaya ansorge i n.sp. (Gasteruptiidae Baissinae), Andrenelia pennata n.gen., n.sp. (Andrenelidae n. fam.), Cretoserphus gomezi n.gen., n.sp. (Mesoserphidae), Montsecosphex jarzembow skii n.gen., n.sp., Angarosphex penyalveri n.sp., Pompilopterus (?) noguerensis n.sp. (Sphecidae Angarosphecinae), Cretoscolia conquensis n.sp. (Scoliidae Archaeoscoliinae). The Mesozoic family Ephialtitidae is revisited based on the restudy of the type-species. We compare these Spanish Cretaceous assemblages with other ones from various parts of the world: Central and Eastern Asia, England, Australia, and Brazil. The number of genera and families identified in the Spanish fossil-sites is almost the same as in the English Purbeck and Wealden. The absence of some hymenopteran groups as Xyelidae, is consistent with the warm climate know to exist in Spain during the Early Cretaceous. We conclude that both La Cabrúa and La Pedrera assemblages - the two sites that have yielded the greatest number of species- correspond to the Lower Cretaceous “Baissin type” (sensu Rasnitsyn et al., 1998), but including some Jurassic “survivors”. La Pedrera assemblage fits equally well in the “angarosphecine subtype”, while La Cabrúa roughly corresponds to the “proctotrupid” one, although shows a comparative ly high proportion of angarosphecins. This fact may suggest: a) possibly asynchrony between these two fossilsites, b) environmental differences not reflected in the lithological record, c) different taphonomic processes and/or, d) insufficient sample size - to reflect the reality of the source populations-. La Pedrera assemblage is very similar to those from Weald Clay (England), Bon Tsagan (Mongolia) and Santana (Brazil). La Cabrúa approaches to a some extent, though not quite agrees with the Purbeck (UK), Koonwarra (Australia), and most Lower Cretaceous Asian assemblages.

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