New Early Eocene brown lacewings (Neuroptera : Hemerobiidae) from western north America
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Two Early Eocene hemerobiid species from the Okanagan Highland deposits of western North America are described: Wesmaelius mathewesi sp. nov. (Quilchena, British Columbia, Canada) and Cretomerobius wehri sp. nov. (Republic, Washington, United States of America.). A poorly preserved specimen, possibly Hemerobiidae (Driftwood Canyon, British Columbia, Canada) is discussed. The systematic position of the genus Cretomerobius within the Hemerobiidae is unclear, but it appears to belong within (or possibly as the sister group to) the poorly differentiated Drepanacrinae-Megalominae-Drepanepteryginae grade of subfamilies. Wesmaelius mathewesi is the first fossil species to be assigned, although with some uncertainty, to this otherwise speciose and widely distributed extant genus. It also represents the oldest known material of the subfamily Hemerobiinae. Mesohemerobius jeholensis Ping is removed from the Hemerobiidae and treated as Neuroptera incertae sedis.