Electrotettix is an extinct genus of pygmy locust found in amber collected in the Dominican Republic. Represented by a single species, Electrotettix attenboroughi, which lived 18-20 million years ago, it fed primarily on moss, fungi, and algae.[2] The genus name is derived from electrum, Latin for "amber", and Greek tettix, meaning "grasshopper".[2] The species was named after Sir David Attenborough.[3] The female measures 8 millimeters in length: the male is unknown. The species is distinguished from modern members of the Cladonotinae subfamily by the fact that it retains vestigial wings, a feature lost somewhere between the ancient specimens and more modern species.[1][2] E. attenboroughi was identified from a collection of amber at the Illinois Natural History Survey, which had been stored in a cabinet under a sink since it was collected in the 1950s by entomologist Milton Sanderson.[4]

Electrotettix attenboroughi
Temporal range: 20–18 Ma
E. attenboroughi encased in amber
Scientific classification
E. attenboroughi
Binomial name
Electrotettix attenboroughi
Heads, Thomas, & Wang, 2014[1]

See also


  1. Heads, Sam W.; Thomas, M. Jared; Wang, Yinan (30 July 2014). "A remarkable new pygmy grasshopper (Orthoptera, Tetrigidae) in Miocene amber from the Dominican Republic". ZooKeys. Pensoft. 429: 87–100. doi:10.3897/zookeys.429.8020. PMC 4137300. PMID 25147472. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  2. "New Pygmy Locust Discovered in Ancient Amber, Named after David Attenborough". Entomology Today. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  3. Sarah Knapton (30 July 2014). "20-million-year-old grasshopper named after David Attenborough". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  4. Rachel Feltman (30 July 2014). "New cricket discovered in long-neglected amber collection". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
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