New Zealand is an island continent that completed its split from the Gondwanan continent at 52 Ma, harbouring an iconic biota of tuatara, kiwi and weta. The sooty mould community is a distinctive trophic element of New Zealand forest ecosystems that is driven by plant-feeding sternorrhynchan Hemiptera. These produce honeydew, which supports fungal growth, which in turn supports numerous endemic invertebrates, including endemic New Zealand beetle families. Ancient New Zealand insect fossils are rare but a single fossil of a sooty mould cyclaxyrid was recently described from Cretaceous Burmese amber, a family that was previously known from two extant New Zealand species. Well-preserved fossils like this one are recasting Earth history, and, based on a wealth of additional specimens, we re-evaluate the taxonomy of Cretaceous cyclaxyrids and one Eocene species here transferred to Cyclaxyridae. Cyclaxyridae are highly tied to the sooty mould community and have now been discovered to occur in disparate biogeographic realms in deep time. Our discovery indicates that the family, and perhaps the sooty mould community in general, was widespread in Pangaea from at least the Cretaceous and survived as a relict in New Zealand. Persistence of a sooty mould ecosystem in New Zealand and fungal specialization may not necessarily be an evolutionary ‘dead-end’ for cyclaxyrids and other insects.