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

Electrocrania michalskii Kurz, 2015

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Electrocrania michalskii Kurz, 2015: 448-450.
Type locality: Baltic region
Type: Holotype : Baltic amber, Lutetian Period of Eocene (Ritzkowski 1997), ID-no. www.nkis.info, MK-Z29276, currently in coll. Michael Kurz

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


: Baltic region, Baltic amber, Eocene, Lutetian, in coll. Michael Kurz : Baltic region, Baltic amber, Eocene, Lutetian, in coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © Michalski Artur (vermiculosis)
Detailed view
Picture from: www.ebay.at: © Michalski Artur (vermiculosis)
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 . Forewing length: 2.7 mm. Head with erect, hair-like scales; eye semi-globular, app. 0.3 mm in diameter; ocelli present; maxillary palpus very long, in total nearly 1.3 mm, with 5 segments (app. 85, 185, 480, 400 and 130 µm in length); labial palpus very small, probably with 2 segments; antenna nearly 9/10 of forewing length, conspicuously thick; pedicellus swollen; antennal segments somewhat broader than long near basis, somewhat longer than broad apically, with conspicuously long branched ascoid sensillae (antennae therefore appear ciliated); mouth parts (maxillae) not recognizable; thorax and tegulae shining golden; forewings pale reddish, golden shining; inner margin golden to 1/2 of forewing length and very indistinct additional spots also golden shining; spur formula of legs 0-0-4; epiphysis not recognizable; midtibia short, without spur, but with fine bristles at distal end; hindtibia with a pair of spurs each at about 0.7 of tibial length and apically; abdomen without recognizable duct of the S5 gland (reduced or absent); genitalic and associated structures on segment 8 not recognizable.


The examined specimen origins from the Baltic region. Following the information of the seller, the piece comes either from the region around Kaliningrad or from Poland, Mikoszewo near the mouth of the river Wisla. Since amber from both locations has been mixed prior to sale, a definite assignment to one of the two localities is not possible any more (Michalski in litt.). In any case, the amber dates from the Lutetian period of the Eocene (Ritzowski 1997).


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

The species is a member of the amber wood biocenosis.


Venation: Baltic region, Baltic amber, Eocene, Lutetian, in coll. Michael Kurz      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Venation. Forewing: Humeral vein present; Sc and R1 unforked, Sc reaching costa at app. 1/2 of forewing length, R1 at about 3/5; R5 nearly apical (only a trace preapical); R2 + R3 on common stem; crossvein Sc-R not traceable; M1 from crossvein R-M; M2 and M3 forking just beyond midlength from common M-stem; CuA forked at 3/4; CuP distinctly developed only in distal part; A1 + A2 fused just distad of 1/2 of their length, forming a basal loop. Hindwing: Sc and R1 separate, but close together; R1 emerging at app. 1/4 of wing length; R2 + R3 on common stem; R5 running to apex; crossvein Sc-R probably present (not clearly visible); CuA probably forked; A1 + A2 present.

genitalia. Not clearly visible in preparation; uncus very short; valves short and very broad.


E. michalskii venation: Baltic region, Baltic amber, Eocene, Lutetian, in coll. Michael Kurz E. immensipalpa: Image A from Kusnezov, 1941. Holotype. Image B1 + B2 from Kusnezov, 1941. Fore wing venation. Image C from Kozlov, 1988. Fore wing venation.    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: LepTree Team (creative commons)
Detailed view

Due to the the unforked Sc (a proposed apomorhy of the genus) and R1 in the forewing, the thickened antennae with large ascoid sensillae and the enormously enlarged maxillary palpi, the species is placed in Electrocrania besides the type species. E. michalskii can be separated from Electrocrania immensipalpa Kusnezov, 1941 by the position of R5 in the forewing, which is apical in E. michalskii, but preapical in E. immensipalpa. Furthermore, Sc and R1 meet the costa at about 2/5, respectively, 1/2 of the forewing length in E. immensipalpa, whereas in E. michalskii the veins meet the costa at 1/2 and 3/5. Despite the difficulties in the interpretation of the venation of E. immensipalpa, these differences are considered to be of specific value. Furthermore, E. michalskii is slightly smaller than E. immensipalpa (forewing length 2.7 mm compared to 3.2 mm in E. immensipalpa).

Worth knowing:

The piece of Baltic amber belongs to the Lutetian period of the Eocene with an age of 40.4 - 48.6 Ma (44.1 Ma following Ritzowski 1997 or about 50 Ma following Hoffeins in litt.). The adult moth is completely preserved and mostly visible from a ventro-lateral view. Parts of the wings are hidden by Schlieren in the amber, and the genitalia are partly covered by the wings. Etymology. Named in honour of Artur Michalski, the vendor of the amber piece, who also allowed me to use his microphotos.


Kristensen, N. P. 1998. The non-glossatan moths: 41–49. – In: N. P. Kristensen (ed.), Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Vol. 1: Evolution, systematics, and biogeography. – In: M. Fischer (ed.), Handbook of Zoology. Vol. IV Arthropoda: Insecta, Part 35. – Walter De Gruyter, Berlin and New York.
Kurz, M. A. 2015. On the systematic position of Electrocrania Kusnezov, 1941 with the description of a new species from Baltic amber (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae). Zootaxa 4044 (3): 446-450.
Ritzkowski, S. 1997. Geschichte der Bernsteinsammlung der Albertus-Universität zu Königsberg i. Pr., Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2014.12.22
Kurz Michael: 2014.12.23
Kurz Michael: 2015.02.18
Kurz Michael: 2015.02.23
Kurz Michael: 2015.03.20
Kurz Michael: 2016.06.24
Kurz Michael: 2016.06.27
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2016.06.27
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2016.06.27