Trihelota, a new and unusual helotid beetle genus from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Coleoptera: Helotidae)
A new genus belonging to the cucujoid family Helotidae, Trihelota gen. nov., is described from mid-Cretaceous (ca. 99 million years old) amber from Kachin State, northern Myanmar, containing a single species T. fulvata sp. nov. The minute fossil was documented using epifluorescence microscopy and X-ray microtomography to reveal fine morphological detail. Trihelota is characterised by its transverse head, antennal club about 1.5 times longer than wide, pronotum almost parallel-sided, and elytra not costate. Notably, each elytron possesses three coloured spots, a character unique within Helotidae. The new genus considerably expands the known morphological disparity of Cretaceous helotids. A key to extinct and extant genera of the family Helotidae is provided along with a checklist of fossil species.