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

Palaeonematopogon serraticornella (Rebel, [1936])

(zoological nomenclature: nomen nudum, not available)

General information:

Adelites serraticornella Rebel [1936]: 183-184.
Type locality: Baltic region, Baltic amber, Prussian, Eocene
Type: Holotype : Baltic region, Baltic amber, Prussian, Eocene, lost or destroyed in coll. ZIUT, Tübingen ( Rittelmann, pers. comm.)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


: Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken, Baltic amber, in coll. Michael Kurz : Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken, Baltic amber, in coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description od adults: Examined: 1 , original description by Rebel [1936]. Forewing lenght: 5.2-5.4 mm. Vertex with erect, hair-like scales; eyes slightly oval, distinctly enlarged, about 0,55 mm in diameter; labial palpi thin, nearly 2-times the length of diameter of an eye, terminal segment 1/2 of medial segment, smothly scaled; maxillary palpi 4-segmented, in total slightly shorter than labial palpi; haustellum very short, about the length of maxillary palpi; antennae about 3/5-3/4 of forewing length (: 3.2-4.2 mm); scapus swollen, flagellum serrate by a distant scale at each side of each flagellomere; forewings elongate with slightly curved costal margin, distinctly pointed at apex and with very oblique outer margin; forewings metallic reddish-yellow; legs strong, smoothly scaled; foretibia with epiphysis, midtibia with a pair of spurs at distal end, the outer one very long; hindtibia with a pair of spurs each at about 0.3 of the tibial length and at distal end, the inner ones very prominent; abdomen short, stout, pointed, metallic red.


The species is known only from two males in Baltic amber of the Kaliningrad area. Following the Palaebiology Database (2020), 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 stretched 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 to some extent, mainly Pinus succinifera and ancestors of the extant 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.


Picture from: © Rebel, [1936]
Detailed view

Venation (holotype). In forewing, all veins free; Rs4 distinctly preapical; medial cell broad, divided by medial stem; distance of cubital veins greater than of medial veins; basal loop of anal vein only indistinctly recognizeable; in hindwing, Sc and R parallel; in second specimen, venation not discernable.


A. serraticornella is somewhat smaller than Adelites electreella Rebel, 1934 and mainly distinguished by the much shorter antennae, which reach only 3/5-3/4 of the forewing length even in males, whereas in A. electreella, they are as long as the forewing already in females. From Adelites purpurascens Rebel, [1936], the species is readily distinguished by the serrate antennae of males. Adelites marionkurziae in litt., has similar antennae in males, but is much smaller, with a forewing length of only about 3.6 mm compared with 5.2-5.4 mm in A. serraticornella. The conspecifity of the recently discovered second male with the holotype of A. serraticornella cannot be proved with certainty. The antennae seem to be slightly longer, but the differences to Rebel´s description seem too be to small to assume a further species.

Phylogeny: Based on the recently discovered male, the species is an Adelid indicated by the slightly elongated antennae. The 4-segmented maxillary palpi assign the species to Nematopogoninae. The placement in Adelites Rebel, 1934 however, is questionable, since the type species of that genus, A. electreella is known from a single female only with filiform, not serrate antennae. Rebel´s description furthermore, does not give any indication of the presence or segmentation of the maxillary palpi.

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: 2020.01.04].
Rebel, H. [1936]. Bernstein-Lepidopteren. Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift Iris 49:162-186.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2019.12.11
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.06
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.08
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.12
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.13
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.21
Kurz Michael: 2020.02.22
not reviewed