N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Adelites electreella Rebel, 1934

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Adelites electreella Rebel, 1934: 15.
Type locality: Baltic region, Baltic amber, Prussian, Eocene
Type: Holotype : Baltic region, Baltic amber, Prussian, Eocene, in coll. Bachofen-Echt

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


Description of adults: Examined: Original description by Rebel (1934). Forewing length: 7.0 mm. Head large, broad, with erect, hair-like scales on frons; antennae as long as forewing (, filiform, scapus swollen; labial palpi indistinctly recognizeable, probably short; forewings elongated, oval; hindwings pointed; body shining coppery red; spurs of hindtibia short.


The species is known only from the holotype in Baltic amber of the Kaliningrad area. Following the Palaebiology Database (2019), this amber dates from the Priabonian period (38.0-33.9 Ma): "According to Aleksandrova and Zaporozhets (2008), the higher parts of the Prussian Formation (including the Blaue Erde or Blue Earth) belong to the Charlesdowniea clathrata angulosa dinocyst Zone. Based on its index species, this zone is concurrent to Zone W13 established in the Parisian basin (Châteauneuf and Gruas-Cavagnetto 1978), where it is correlated with nannoplankton zones NP18–NP21 (Powell, 1992) of the Priabonian. In the Paleogene zonation of northwestern Europe, the first occurrence of Thalassiphora fenestrata is designated at the base of the dinocyst Subzone D12b (36.20 +/- 0.1 Ma), which is correlated with zones NP18 (terminal part)–NP20 of the Priabonian (Luterbacher et al., 2004)."


Computer model of a Baltic amber forest      
Picture from: Kurz Marion
Detailed view

The species is a member of the amber wood biocenosis. In a relatively warm period in the Eocene, the amber wood streched from Scandinavia to the Ural Mountains in a broad belt. In the south, it was bordered by an ocean, which reached far into eastern Europe and Asia. The wood consisted of coniferous trees, mainly Pinus succinifera and ancestors of the recent genus Pseudolarix, similar plant associations being present also in North America and throughout temperate Asia (all information retrieved from wikipedia 2010). Gymnosperms and Angiosperms have been plentiful developed already in that wood (e.g. Goeppert & Menge 1883). The climate has been assumed to be mild and wet, the wood itself to be marshy.


Venation. In forewing, all veins free; anal vein with basal loop; in hindwing, M1 and M2 probably on a common stem.


From Adelites serraticornella Rebel, [1936], A. electreella is distinguished readily by the much longer antennae, which are as long as the forewing even in the female, whereas in A. serraticornella, they reach only 3/5-3/4 of the forewing length in males. In Adelites purpurascens Rebel, [1936] too, even males have distinctly shorter antennae, reaching about 3/4 of the forewing length. Adelites marionkurziae in litt. on the whole is only half as big as A. electreella, having a ratio of antenna/forewing of about 5/6 in males. Finally, Adela similis Kozlov, 1987, is of similar size as A. electreella, but the antenna/forewing ratio is about 1 1/4 in the female.

Phylogeny: A. electreella has elongated antennae compared to the incurvarioid groud plan, which is assumed to be an autapomorphy of Adelidae. The systematic position of the species and hence the genus Adelites, whose type species it is, is unknown. Neither do we have any information on the presence or segmentation of the maxillary palpi (2- or 3-segmented in Adelinae, 4- or 5-segmented in Nematopogoninae), nor do we know anything about the absence or presence of erect scales, clamp-like structures or bristles on the antennae of males.

Worth knowing:


Bernstein. In: Wikipedia, Die freie Enzyklopädie. Bearbeitungsstand: 1. Februar 2010, 19:30 UTC. URL: http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bernstein&oldid=70103709 [visited 4 February 2010, 13:50 UTC].
Goeppert, H. R. & A. Menge 1883. Die Flora des Bernsteins und ihre Beziehungen zur Flora der Tertiärformation und der Gegenwart. 2 Bde., Commissions-Verlag von Wilh. Engelmann in Leipzig. Danzig.
The Paleobiology Database. URL: https://paleobiodb.org/ [online: 2019.12.11].
Rebel, H. 1934. Bernstein-Lepidopteren (aus der Sammlung Bachofen-Echt). Palaeobiologica 6: 1-16, 1 Taf.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2019.11.20
Kurz Michael: 2019.12.11
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.03
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.05
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.08
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.13
not reviewed