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Holotype male (Figures 3, 5–9), in heavily fractured block of yellowish amber embedded in a trapezoidal epoxy matrix about 22 × 10 × 7 mm, with labels as follows: “NEW JERSEY Amber: / Late Cretaceous / NEW JERSEY: Middlesex Co / Sayreville, White Oaks Pit / 1995, coll.Paul Nascimbene / AMNH no. NJ-695”, “NEW JERSEY Amber: / Late Cretaceous / AMNH no. NJ-695 / HYMENOPTERA:”, “Plumariidae” [Rasnitsyn’s handwriting], “HOLOTYPE / Plumalexius / rasnitsyni ♂ / D.J. Brothers, 2011” [red label, printed].
Paratype male (Figures 4, 10–13), in heavily fractured block of yellowish amber embedded in a rectangular epoxy matrix about 18.5 × 13.5 × 9 mm, with labels as follows: “NEW JERSEY Amber: / Late Cretaceous / NEW JERSEY: Middlesex Co / Sayreville, White Oaks Pit / 1995, coll.Paul Nascimbene / AMNH no. NJ-175”, “NEW JERSEY Amber: / Late Cretaceous / AMNH no. NJ-175 / HYMENOPTERA: / Family? (PN-2a) / Plumariidae” [Rasnitsyn’s handwriting], “?Family / Det. L. Masner 1996”, “PARATYPE / Plumalexius / rasnitsyni ♂ / D.J. Brothers, 2011” [yellow label, printed]. (This specimen is presumed to be a male because of its similarity to the holotype even though the metasoma is mostly not visible.)
The species name, a noun in the genitive case, honours Professor Dr Alexandr Rasnitsyn, who first recognised the significance of the specimens.
(based on holotype, paratype data in parentheses where different or feature not visible in holotype): Male. Entirely pale yellowish (reddish) brown with venation slightly darker. Head and body length as preserved 2.03 (2.37) mm; estimated head length 0.24 (0.29) mm; estimated mesosoma length 0.80 (0.77) mm; estimated metasoma length 0.90 (0.89) mm; approximate forewing length 1.32 (1.46) mm; approximate hindwing length 1.03 (1.17) mm. Head and metasoma with scattered fine short erect setae, mesosoma almost glabrous, antennal pedicel and flagellomeres with fine long erect setae; legs with dense recumbent setae and scattered semi-erect setae.
Head: Hypognathous; about as wide as high; vertex evenly rounded. Eye ovate with convex inner margin, moderately protuberant, apparently glabrous, ommatidia distinct. Ocelli ovate, large. Occipital carina distinct. Frons and clypeus weakly convex; clypeus transverse with convex anterior/apical margin. Gena simple. Antennal sockets simple, apparently about as close to eyes as to each other, apparently close to posterior/dorsal margin of clypeus. Antennal scape about as long as wide (distinctly flattened posterolaterally and broadened towards apex), with several erect setae; pedicel (about half length of scape and of first flagellomere), with many fine long erect setae; (flagellomeres 1–4 becoming slightly longer sequentially, with many fine long erect setae). Mandible long, evenly broad and curved; two prominent short curved setae on lateral surface; apex truncate with four similar sharp teeth, apical tooth the longest. Maxillary palp at least 5-segmented; labial palp at least 3-segmented [palp bases concealed by foam but segmentation inferred from assumed points of origin].
Mesosoma ovate, about twice as long as wide/high. Pronotum forming a curved oblique ribbon anterolateral to mesoscutum, broader medially than posterolaterally; posterodorsal margin evenly concave; posterolateral margin strongly emarginate and approaching tegula dorsally; posteroventral angle broadly rounded; anteroventrally with slight collar (flange) but leaving propleura exposed anteriorly. Propleura closely associated or fused; anteriorly produced as a short neck; swollen posteriorly; posterior margin apparently almost straight but exposing small part of prosternum medially; forecoxae approximated. Mesoscutum shorter than wide, moderately convex; notaulus distinct and complete, weakly diverging anteriorly; tegula small and convex. (Mesoscutellum apparently almost as long as scutum, weakly convex.) Mesopleuron large and convex; meso-metapleural suture distinct, almost straight. Mesosternum with posteromedial margin almost straight and apparently slightly overhanging mesocoxal base; mesocoxae slightly separated. (Metanotum short and transverse, flattened, not constricted medially. Metapostnotum apparently as long as metanotum, slightly depressed.) Metasternum apparently somewhat depressed. Metacoxae slightly separated. Propodeum slightly longer than mesoscutum, weakly convex but more strongly so posteriorly although without any defined posterior declivity; incision between mesosoma and metasoma weak.
Forewing broad, about 2.2 × as long as wide, about 1.7 (1.8) × as long as mesosoma, with seven closed cells, veins approaching but not reaching margin. Costal cell well developed, broad. Pterostigma large, about 0.19 × as long and 0.17 (0.20) × as wide as wing, entirely sclerotised. Marginal cell about 2.38 (2.17) × as long as wide, 1.41 (1.52) × as long as pterostigma, apex acute. First submarginal cell about 2.08 (2.61) × as long as wide, 0.81 (0.80) × as long as marginal cell. Second submarginal cell almost as large as pterostigma, broadly sessile anteriorly, about 0.64 (0.57) × as long as first submarginal cell. Veins tubular except for nebulous free apical sections of M, Cu and A. No trace of any accessory vein(s) in apical membrane. Prestigmal vein (Sc+R) scarcely swollen, about 1.33 (1.37) × as long as vein 1Rs. Crossvein cu-a distinctly postfurcal, about 1.33 (1.75) × as long as 1Cu. Vein Cu2 absent, first subdiscal cell broadly open apically.
Hind wing about 0.8 × as long as forewing. (Basal and subbasal cells closed by tubular veins; costal cell open anteriorly, vein C present only basally. Veins tubular except for nebulous free apical sections of Rs, M, Cu and A. A few basal hamuli present in a cluster; about five apical hamuli. Crossvein rs-m long, about 2.67 × as long as 1Rs. Vein 1M very short, about 0.13 × as long as 2M+Cu. Crossvein cu-a distantly antefurcal, 2M+Cu about 0.57 × as long as 1M+Cu. Anal (vannal/plical) lobe apically delimited by moderate incision, lobe about 1.19 × as long as submedian cell, about 0.4 × as long as wing.) Jugal lobe absent.
Legs well developed, moderate in size; trochanters well developed and cylindrical; no trochantelli; tibiae without any spines or strong setae; basitarsomeres long, about as long as next three tarsomeres combined; all arolia large and flattened; claws simple ventrally. Foreleg with coxa subglobose, trochanter inserted apically; femur slightly swollen, with inner/anterior surface flattened; tibia with simple, weakly curved, bladelike calcar subapically. Mid- and hind legs with coxae globose, hind coxa somewhat larger than mid-coxa; tibiae each with two straight simple apical spurs, inner spur somewhat longer than outer.
Metasoma elongate oval, about 2.6 (indeterminable in paratype) × as long as wide/high; terga subequal in length. First tergum broad, weakly contracted toward base, profile evenly merging with second. First sternum apparently simple and evenly overlapping second. Seventh tergum apparently simple with apical margin convex. Seventh sternum apparently reduced and mostly concealed. Hypopygium simple, weakly convex, with narrowly rounded apical margin. Cercus apparently present, cylindrical. Genitalia with paramere apparently broadly rounded apically.
- Brothers, D; 2011: A new Late Cretaceous family of Hymenoptera, and phylogeny of the Plumariidae and Chrysidoidea (Aculeata) ZooKeys, 130: 515-542. doi