Alavaraphidia Perez-de la Fuente, Penalver , Delclos & Engel, Fuente, Ricardo Perez-de la, Penalver, Enrique, Delclos, Xavier & Engel, Michael S., 2012

Fuente, Ricardo Perez-de la, Penalver, Enrique, Delclos, Xavier & Engel, Michael S., 2012, Snakefly diversity in Early Cretaceous amber from Spain (Neuropterida, Raphidioptera), ZooKeys 204, pp. 1-40: 19-20

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Alavaraphidia Perez-de la Fuente, Penalver , Delclos & Engel

gen. n.

Alavaraphidia Perez-de la Fuente, Penalver, Delclos & Engel   ZBK   gen. n.

Type species.

Alavaraphidia imperterrita   sp. n.


Minute size. Head rhomboidal, with clypeus especially elongate and the portion posterior to the compound eyes shorter than the eye diameter and strongly tapering caudad; three large ocelli present, situated near the posterior tangent of compound eyes; antennae extremely elongate, with a high number of flagellomeres (i.e., ≥ 38). Pronotum shorter than head, with a constant height along its entire length. All tibiae especially swollen medio-apically; process at midlength of the metatibia indistinct. Bilobed extensions of third tarsomeres with distal digitiform processes.


The new genus-group name is a combination of Álava, from Álava amber (the name of the group for Peñacerrada I and Peñacerrada II amber localities), and Raphidia   , common generic stem for snakeflies. The name is feminine.


Although most of the wings are not preserved, the other features of Alavaraphidia   gen. n. are distinctive enough to justify the creation of a distinct taxon. The minute size of Alavaraphidia   mainly limits its comparison to other minute taxa mainly described from amber inclusions (refer to comments for Amarantoraphidia   gen. n.). Although a few other taxa based on wings from compressions are minute in size it is not possible to compare them with the new genus and species due to the absence of most of its wings. The genus Lebanoraphidia   shares with Alavaraphidia   the rhomboidal shape of the head with the compound eye length greater than that of the head posterior to the eyes ( Bechly and Wolf-Schwenninger 2011); the head shape is ovoid in the genera Grimaldiraphidia   , Nanoraphidia   , and Amarantoraphidia   ,and subquadrangular in the genus Cantabroraphidia   . Moreover, the genus Lebanoraphidia   differs from Alavaraphidia   in the lesser number of flagellomeres (note how the number of flagellomeres depicted for Lebanoraphidia nana   Bechly and Wolf-Schwenninger, 2011, type and only species of the genus, seems to not match the description and photographs), the shorter clypeus, the shorter portion posterior to the compound eyes, the longer relative length of the pronotum, and the assumed absence of distal digitiform processes on the third tarsomere’s bilobed extensions. The high number of flagellomeres of Alavaraphidia   (44) is most similar to that of Lebanoraphidia   , itself with around 38 flagellomeres ( Bechly and Wolf-Schwenninger 2011). Otherwise, 20 flagellomeres are present in the genus Nanoraphidia   ( Engel 2002), 23 in Grimaldiraphidia   ( Grimaldi 2000), 24 in Amarantoraphidia   ,and 26 in Cantabroraphidia   ( Pérez-de la Fuente et al. 2010). The distal digitiform processes from the third tarsomere’s bilobed extensions (fig. 10C) have not been reported from any other taxon and thus it is considered a unique character. Regarding the leg patterning, the medial dark patch found on the tibia in Cantabroraphidia   (ibid.) and Amarantoraphidia   is absent in Alavaraphidia   . However, this character is not considered relevant at the generic level and hence has been discarded from the present diagnosis.