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 sp. (marionae) in litt.

(zoological nomenclature: nomen nudum, not available)

General information:

Type locality: Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken
Type: Holotype : Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken, Baltic amber, in coll. Michael Kurz

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


HOLOTYPE: Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken, Baltic amber, in coll. Michael Kurz HOLOTYPE: Russia, Kalinigrad, Palmnicken, Baltic amber HOLOTYPE, head and part of antenna in higher magnification  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 . Forewing length: 3.65 mm. Head with erect, hair-like scales; face smoothly scaled, metallic shining; eyes semiglobular, enlarged, about 0.2 mm in diameter, distance of eyes (frontally) about 0.27 mm; maxillary palpi four-segmented, straight, segments appr. 40, 225, 250 and 50 µm long (from basis to tip), the short terminal segment drop-like pointed; labial palpi three-segmented, in total 525 µm long and thus almost as long as maxillary palpi; basal segment short, medial and terminal segments of about equal length, straight; medial segment with several distant bristles; antennae in about 5/6 of forewing length; scapus swollen; segments of flagellum with an erect scale each on both sides; haustellum very short (length about diameter of an eye), broad, only slightly enrolled; underside of thorax metallic shining, legs alike; foretibia with small epiphysis; midtibia with a long pair of spurs at distal end; hindtibia with a very long pair of spurs each medially and at distal end; upperside of abdomen with distant scales, underside smoothly scaled.


The species is known only from the holotype 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 (Chāteauneuf 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.


Venation. In forewing, all R-veins free; Rs4 preapical; stem of media not recognizeable; A2+A3 forming a distinct basal loop.

Genitalia. In preparation mostly inside the abdomen and therefore not recognizeable.


The species is distinguished from other fossil Adelids mainly by the serrated antennae, which are filiform in all other species except Adelites serraticornella Rebel, [1936]. The latter species however, is distinctly larger with a forewing length of appr. 5.2-5.4 mm compared to 3.6 mm in P. marionae. The antennae are relatively longer than in A. serraticornella, reaching about 5/6 of the forewing length, compared with 3/4 in A. serraticornella.

Phylogeny: The elongated antennae are assumed to be an autapomorphy of Adelidae and the 4-segmented maxillary palpi would assign the species to the subfamily Nematopogoninae, which have 4-5 segmented maxillary palpi (Nielsen 1985). Compared with extant Nematopogoninae however, the antennae are much shorter and the haustellum is very short. Furthermore, the present species has enlarged eyes and a smoothly scaled, metallic shining face, characters which are found only in present day Adela and Nemophora. Therefore, the species is placed in Adelinae, in a new genus which is maybe a direct precursor of the mentioned Adelinae-genara. According to article 20 of ICZN, the name Adelites Rebel, 1934 is not available and therefore the new genus must have a new name, although other members of Adelites may belong to the same Group as P. marionae.

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.
Nielsen, E. S. 1985. A taxonomic review of the adelid genus Nematopogon Zeller (Lepidoptera: Incurvarioidea). Entomologica scandinavica Supplement 25: 1-66.
The Paleobiology Database. URL: https://paleobiodb.org/ [online: 2020.01.06].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2015.12.14
Kurz Michael: 2016.01.01
Kurz Michael: 2016.03.10
Kurz Michael: 2019.12.11
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.06
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.08
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.10
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.11
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.12
Kurz Michael: 2020.01.13
Kurz Michael: 2020.07.30
not reviewed