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

Micropterix aureoviridella (Höfner, 1898)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Eriocephala aureoviridella Höfner, 1898: 73.
Type locality: Austrian Alps, Carinthia, Petzen near Bleiburg.
Type: 4 syntypes (2 [1 destroyed, only 1 forewing and parts of body left], 2 ) in coll. NHMK [examined].

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Micropterix liogierella Réal, 1987: 377–378. Type locality: Cret de la Neige (France, Jura Mountains). Junior subjective synonym.

Habit:

 
: Austria, Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Schober, 1988.06.17, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz : Austria, Salzburg, Pongau, Hochkönig, Kaserfeld-Mandlwand, 1750 m, 1994.07.02, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz : Austria, Salzburg, Pongau, Hochkönig, Kaserfeld-Mandlwand, 1750 m, 1994.07.02, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
 

Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults: Examined: 10 , 27 . Forewing length: 3.4 - 3.9 mm; 3.6 - 4.7 mm. Head black-brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on the head rusty yellow to dirty white; antennae golden brown, purple at base, 4/5 (), respectively, 4/7 () of forewing length; thorax golden, posteriorly purple violet; tegulae bronzy golden to purple violet, bluish in posterior part; forewings bronzy golden to reddish golden, a purple violet spot near base at costa, basally and between fasciae mixed with purple scales, sometimes also completely purple to purple violet in anterior half of forewing; inner margin broad golden to bronzy golden from base to middle of wing; markings more or less silvery golden to golden, indistinctly bordered: a fascia extending from costa across more than half of the wing width at 1/5, sometimes poorly developed; a narrower, bent fascia across the entire wing width at 1/2, often narrowed in the anterior third, sometimes nearly completely interrupted; an elongated, more or less large spot at 3/4, usually not reaching costa and inner margin; a small bronzy golden costal spot at 3/4, sometimes very ambiguous; fringe bronzy golden to whitish bronzy golden; hindwings bronzy golden, more or less with a purple tinge; fringe lightly bronzy golden; legs and abdomen brownish, golden shining.

Remarks. M. aureoviridella has often been described as "golden green", which is the translation of its Latin name. But the animals are mostly reddish golden and often show a more or less intense purple colouration, which is already stated in the original description by Höfner (1898).

Distribution:

According to Heath (1996) and Karsholt (2004), M. aureoviridella has been found in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. The records from Greece (Heath 1996, Karsholt 2004) and from Romania (Karsholt 2004) are very doubtful. A series of females from the Dinarian mountains, that has previously, although doubtfully been assigned to M. aureoviridella (Zeller-Lukashort, Kurz & Kurz 2002), belongs to Micropterix amsella Heath, 1975, which has been confirmed by genitalia examination.
The species is quite abundant in the northern and southern calcareous Alps, where it occurs mainly from 900 up to 2300 m a.s.l. (occasionally also lower, Kurz et al., 2009). In other upland areas (Germany: Harz; Switzerland and France: Jura) it may be found as low as 300 m a.s.l. (Kurz et al. 2009).

Biology:

M. aureoviridella dwells at the border of forests and shrubberies in mountain areas: Salzburg, Trattberg, Enzianhütte, 2004.07.04 M. aureatella, M. aureoviridella and M. aruncella feeding together on a single blossom of Rosa pendulina: Vorarlberg, Brandnertal, Böser Tritt, 1700 m, 2004.07.30 Salzburg, Untersberg, lower Rositten valley, 2010.07.03 The animals also feed on pollen of Pinus mugo: Vorarlberg, Rätikon, Lünersee, near Douglashütte, 2000 m, 2004.07.30
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

M. aureoviridella seems to prefer alkaline soils (carbonate substrate). The species is often abundant in elfin woodland (> 50% of all records, Kurz et al. 2009), but also inhabits open and dry, grassy habitats on southwardly directed slopes, margins of light spruce forest with interspersed rocks, margins of forest and scrubs in mountain areas, as well as tall herb vegetation. It may be found in sub-alpine dwarf scrub too. The adults feed on flowering shrubs like Pinus mugo mugo and different species of wild Roses, among them Rosa pendulina. Competing Micropterix-species on these flowers have been Micropterix aureatella (Scopoli, 1763) and Micropterix aruncella (Scopoli, 1763), besides intraspecific competition. The animals are on the wing in June and July, according to the elevation, with one record also in early August (Kurz et al. 2009).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.

Anatomy:

, scheme of cuticle -genitalia, prep.-no. 778, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Habachtal, near Gasthaus Enzian, 2004.07.17, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 305, M. Kurz: "n.Kalkvoralpen; Thalgau / Sbg. 8/155; Schober 1000 m; 17.6.1988; 18.35 MEZ; leg.M.K.", coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, distal end of phallus in higher magnification, prep.-no. 325, M. Kurz: "Austria superior; Gr. Pyhrgas; 1600 m, 22.6.1940; J.Klimesch", coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
, scheme of cuticle -genitalia, prep.-no. 810, M. Kurz, preparation in caustic potassium: Eastern Tyrol, Glockner group, Kals, Moar Alm, 1800 - 2000 m, 2002.06.27, leg. Helmut Deutsch, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 810, M. Kurz, permanent preparation: Eastern Tyrol, Glockner group, Kals, Moar Alm, 1800 - 2000 m, 2002.06.27, leg. Helmut Deutsch, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 282, M. Kurz: "Fürstenbrunn [Salzburg, Untersberg area, Grödig, Veitlbruch]; 26.6.1971; SALZBURG; MAIRHUBER", coll. Haus der Natur, Salzburg
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Genitalia. Uncus moderately long, distinctly separated and stout; at lower margin convex, with an area of setae; accessory claspers well developed, nearly triangular, with a row of many moderately long, partly modified spinoid setae, as well as inwardly oriented, nearly Y-shaped setae at ventral margin of anterior half; valvae moderately long, broad, distinctly constricted medially, strongly bent dorsad at distal end; some setae postbasally on inner surface of valvae, two irregular rows of many shorter spinoid setae at lower margin of inner surface distally and a row of longer setae medially.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing; sternite IX atrophied, only 1/3 of the normal width in the middle, laterally enlarged into a weak lobe, but variably, so poorly diagnostic; distal and proximal margin distinctly bordered; lateral margin inwardly bent, indistinctly bordered; terminal papillae with well developed sclerotized band, weakly diagnostic, proximally straight or slightly sinuate; ductus receptaculi short; receptaculum seminis small, at beginning of ductus receptaculi somewhat enlarged, afterwards constricted; receptaculum seminis forming a sac in proximal half, with an inconspicuous, typical striation; a thin appendix at the end.

Diagnosis:

M. aureoviridella : Austria, Salzburg, Pongau, Hochkönig, Kaserfeld-Mandlwand, 1750 m, 1994.07.02, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. aglaella : France, Alpes de Haute-Provence, Station de Lure, 1999.07.13, leg. et coll. Wolfgang Speidel M. paykullella : France, Alpes Maritimes, near Nice, La Turbie, 1962.05, leg. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. amsella : Montenegro, Herceg-Novi, Igalo, 2003.05.02, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Christof Zeller
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
M. facetella : Croatia, Dalmatia, near Dubrovnik, Cilipi, Komaji, 2003.05.03, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. aureatella aureatella : "ALPENVORLAND; Thalgau/Sbg. 6/3;20.5.1989; 12.40-14.05 h; leg. M.K", coll. Michael Kurz M. aureoviridella -genitalia, prep.-no. 778, M. Kurz: Austria, Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Habachtal, near Gasthaus Enzian, 2004.07.17, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz M. aglaella -genitalia, prep.-no. 4323, J. Wimmer: Spain, Gerona, Vidreras, 6. - 15.6.1993, leg. et coll. Josef Wimmer
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
M. paykullella -genitalia (form without markings), prep.-no. 741, M. Kurz: France, Alpes Maritimes, Marguareis, 2000.07.22, leg. Hausenblas und Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz M. amsella -genitalia, prep.-no. 958, M. Kurz: Montenegro, Niksic, Golija, Vrh Caradje, 2011.06.10, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. facetella -genitalia, prep.-no. 956, M. Kurz: Croatia, Dalmatia, near Dubrovnik, between Trsteno and Majkovi, 2003.05.03, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. aureatella aureatella genitalia, prep.-no. 202, Ch. Zeller: Austria, Salzburg, Flachgau, Eugendorf, Unzing, Wörlemoos, 2003.05.17, leg. Hausenblas & Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: © Zeller Christof
Detailed view
M. aureoviridella -genitalia, prep.-no. 810, M. Kurz: Eastern Tyrol, Glockner group, Kals, Moar Alm, 1800 - 2000 m, 2002.06.27, leg. Helmut Deutsch, coll. Michael Kurz M. aglaella -genitalia, prep.-no. 597 M. Kurz: France, Alpes de Haute-Provence, near Gap, Tallard, 1962.05, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Michael Kurz M. paykullella, -genitalia, prep.-no. 811, M.Kurz: Piemonte, province of Cuneo, Bersezio, 1973.07.21, leg. J.Klimesch, coll. Michael Kurz M. amsella -genitalia, prep.-no. 960, M. Kurz: Montenegro, Herceg-Novi, Igalo, 2003.05.02, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   
M. facetella -genitalia, prep.-no. 957, M. Kurz: Montenegro, Herceg-Novi, Igalo, 2003.05.02, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. aureatella aureatella genitalia, prep.-no. 808, M. Kurz: Austria, Vorarlberg, Brandnertal, Böser Tritt, 1700 m, 2004.07.30, leg. Puchmayr & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   

Externally, M. aureoviridella is very similar to reddish golden specimens of Micropterix aglaella (Duponchel, 1840) and Micropterix paykullella (Fabricius, 1794). The former has a normally distinct, whitish golden fascia at 1/4, whereas in the latter two species, this fascia is of the same bronzy golden colour like the inner margin. An investigation of the genitalia may be necessary nevertheless, especially in worn specimens. Micropterix aureatella (Scopoli, 1763) normally is coloured more purple violet (not as reddish as M. aureoviridella) without golden inner margin and with distinctly bordered, more golden fasciae. Similar is also Micropterix facetella Zeller, 1850, although no overlapping of the distribution ranges of both species is known so far. Weakly marked specimens of M. aureoviridella and Micropterix amsella Heath, 1975 are also very similar, but to present knowledge, we do not know of an overlap in distribution too.
All mentioned species are clearly separable with respect to their male genitalia. In the female genitalia, no convincing differences have been found so far to M. paykullella and M. aureatella. M. aglaella may be recognized by the much weaker sclerotization of sternite IX, M. amsella by the narrow, but almost complete segment IX-ring. M. facetella furthermore, is easily distinguished by the conspicious net-like sclerotization of segment VII and VIII.

Phylogeny: The structure of the male genitalia, especially the lobes between uncus and accesory claspers, is quite unique among other species of the genus. Since DNA-data are lacking too, the systematic position of M. aureoviridella is rather uncertain.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Heath, J. 1996. Family Micropterigidae – In: O. Karsholt & J. Razowski (eds), The Lepidoptera of Europa. A distributional checklist. – Apollo-Books, Stenstrup.
Höfner, G. 1898. 3 neue Schmetterlingsarten. – Societas Entomologica 13 (9/10): 1–6.
Karsholt, O. 2004. Families Acanthopteroctetidae, Axiidae, Castniidae, Cossidae, Drepanidae, Eriocottidae, Eriocraniidae, Gelechiidae, Heterogynidae, Limacodidae, Lypusidae, Micropterigidae, Roeslerstammiidae, Somabrachyidae, Uraniidae. In: Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 1.1, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 16 December 2004].
Kurz, M. A., M. E. Kurz & H. C. Zeller-Lukashort 2000–2009. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 14 April 2009].
Réal, P. 1988. Lépidoptères nouveaux principalement jurassiens. – Mémoires du Comité de Liaison pour les Recherches Ecofaunistiques dans le Jura (CL.E.R.J.), No. 4: 3–9.
Zeller-Lukashort, H. C., M. E. Kurz & M. A. Kurz 2002. Neue Funddaten von Arten der Gattung Micropterix Hübner, [1825] (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae). – Zeitschrift der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Österreichischer Entomologen 54: 35–38.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2006.03.21
Zeller Christof: 2006.11.19
Kurz Michael: 2008.11.12
Kurz Michael: 2009.04.14
Kurz Michael: 2009.07.16
Kurz Michael: 2010.01.20
Kurz Michael: 2011.07.01
Kurz Michael: 2012.03.28
Kurz Michael: 2012.03.30
Kurz Michael: 2017.07.13
not reviewed

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