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

Incurvarites sp. (Baltic amber)

(zoological nomenclature: nomen nudum, not available)

General information:

Type locality: Russia, Kaliningrad, Yantarnyy, Priabonian (Baltic amber)
Type: Holotype : Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken (now Yantarnyy); ID-no. www.nkis.info MK-Z46047; inclusion in Baltic amber; in coll. Michael Kurz

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


, HOLOTYPE: Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken, coll. Michael Kurz      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 . Forewing length: 4.5 mm. Head with lon, hair-like scales on vertex, face only with scattered, hair-like scales; eyey slightly enlarged, somewhat oval, 0.35 mm in diamter; (distance of eyes (frontally) about 1.1 times the diamter of an eye; maxillary palpi 4-segmented, somewhat shorter than diamter of an eye, weak; labial palpi 3-segmented, distinctly longer than diameter of an eye (about 1.3 times); terminal segment slightly longer than 1/2 of medial segment, pointed; basal and medial segment with distant bristles; haustellum reduced, distinctly shorter than maxillary palpi; antennae about 0.5 of forewing length; scapus swollen, with distant scaling; flagellum serrate, with a row of distant scales on each flagellomere and distant ciliation; both wings with pointed apex, oblique outer amrgin and weakly developed anal angle; both wings densely covered with broad scales, completely covering the wing membrane; spur formula 0-2-4, foretibia with epiphysis, midtibia with prominent pair of distal spurs, the inner one distinctly longer than the outer one; hindtibia inflated, with a pair of spurs each at about 0.3 of the tibial length (the inner one very long) and at distal end; abdomen hidden by a wax-like emulsion.


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 (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.


Head, HOLOTYPE: Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, right valve: Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken, HOLOTYPE    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Venation. In forewing, all RS-veins present and free; Rs4 distinctly preapical; in hindwing, RR preapical, M1 postapical; medial stem distinct

Scales. Scales moderately broad, with 4 or 5 apical teeth, scales of fringe moderately long, with 2 or 3 teeth; forewing, at least in apical part, with numerous, tiny spines on wing membrane between scales.

genitalia. Mostly hidden by wax-like emulsion; valvae bent inwards, ventrally bent upwards in right angle medially, rounded apically, on ventral side distally with small rounded appendix; dorsal margin with prominent lobe from base to nearly apex; ventral part more strongly sclerotized; presence of pectinifers not traceable with certainty.


From Incurvarites alienella Rebel, 1934, the species is easily distinguished by the postapical position of M1 in the hindwing, which is preapical in the former species.

Phylogeny. The distant bristles on the labial palpi, the free RS-veins, the presence of the medial stem, at least in hindwing, and the tiny bristles on the wing membrane classify the species most propably among the monotrysian Heteroneura and here among the Incurvarioidea. A certain assignment to Incurvariidae or Prodoxidae is not possible, but the somewhat reduced maxillary palpi and the shape of the valvae are reminiscent of the extant genus Alloclemensia Nielsen, 1981. For that reason, the species is classified in Incurvarites Rebel, 1934, this genus itself being of uncertain taxonomic position within Incurvarioidea.

Worth knowing:

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2020.02.06
Kurz Michael: 2020.02.28
Kurz Michael: 2020.02.29
Kurz Michael: 2020.03.20
Kurz Michael: 2020.06.29
not reviewed