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 schaefferi Heath, 1975

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropterix schaefferi Heath, 1975: 253–254, figs 1–2.
Type locality: Austria, Upper Austria, Linz.
Type: Holotype : Oberösterreich, Linz, 25.iv.1934, Klimesch (genitalia preparation J. Heath no. 213); coll. J. Heath, now in coll. NHM, London.

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Micropteryx anderschella Herrich-Schäffer, 1851: 392, pl. 1, fig. 4 nec Hübner, 1813. Misidentification.
Micropteryx ammanella auct. nec Hübner, 1813. Misidentification.

Habit:

 
: Austria, Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubach valley, Enzingerboden, 1500 m, 1994.05.13, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz : Salzburg, Radstädter Tauern, Lungau, Tweng, Rauchwand, 1450 m, 1994.06.18, coll. Michael Kurz : Lower Austria, Wachau, near Melk, Grimsing, 1989.05.05, coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults: Examined: 25 , 27 . Forewing length: 3.8–5.1 mm, 4.7–5.8 mm. Head black, vestiture of hair-like scales on the head brownish yellow, yellow, whitish yellow or pale greyish yellow; antennae 3/4 (), respectively, slightly more than 1/2 () of forewing length; thorax dark golden to bronzy golden, tegulae bronzy golden, purplish to purplish violet tinged; forewings purplish bronzy golden to deep bluish violet with whitish golden to golden, delicately bronzy golden bordered markings: inner margin broad bronzy golden reaching to 1/2; its basal part with an oblong spot of ground colour; apex, with exception of the outermost tip of the wing, as well as outer margin light bronzy golden; at 3/4 a small, whitish golden, often indistinct spot at inner margin, which is embedded in the apical golden colouration; at 1/4 a transverse fascia, narrow at costa, then broadening and reaching the bronzy golden inner margin; a broad, posteriorly somewhat narrower transverse fascia at 1/2, slightly bent outwards; a very broad transverse fascia at 3/4 reaching from costa and somewhat oblique to centre of wing, but not reaching the bronzy golden colouration at outer margin; a small costal spot at 2/3, often connected with outer transverse fascia, seldom also with fascia at 1/2; fringe whitish golden, bronzy golden to purplish at its base; hindwing dark bronzy golden, more or less suffused with purple; fringe light bronzy golden; legs light brownish golden; abdomen brown, golden shining.

Distribution:

According to Karsholt & Nieukerken (2011), the species is recorded from France, Corse, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary (doubtful), Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro as well as Bulgaria and Denmark. Kurz & Kurz (2012) furthermore, report M. schaefferi also from Slovenia. Older records concerning Asia Minor (Meeß 1910, Meyrick 1912), probably the basis for Koçak & Kemal (2009: Turkey, Bursa province), are very doubtfully identified and probably refer to an undescribed species (see diagnosis section). In Italy, the species seems to reach the border between the regions of Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, whereas to the south the very similar Micropterix vulturensis Heath, 1981 can be found (Kurz & Kurz 2012). Vertically, M. schaefferi has been found from near sea-level up to higher than 2600 m (Kurz & Kurz 2012).

Biology:

Salzburg, Osterhorn group, St. Kolomann, from Seewaldsee to Enzianhütte, 2008.05.11 Styria, northern Alps, Mariazell, near the Hubertussee, 2004.06.07 Salzburg, Osterhorn group, Fuschl am See, Kleiner Kapelle, 2005.05.01 Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Gasteiner Tal, Höhenweg, 2007.04.29
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

The species inhabits preferably open beech and coniferous mixed woodland, as well as woodland of various other types. It also can be found in very wet situations in Fraxinus-dominated ravine forests as well as in dry situations in pine forests with Erica. Almost always the herbaceous layer in such woods is well developed, consisting in central Europe of different grasses, Mercurialis perennis L. and Dentaria enneaphyllos L., and in dry locations also Erica carnea L.. In elfin woodland in the mountains, the herbaceous layer is dominated by Vaccinium species. Furthermore, M. schaefferi can be found in cuttings rich in shrubs, in blackberry thickets and on sunny wood margins. The species is absent from dense woodland, especially spruce forests without herbaceous layer. The animals are on the wing from the morning till evening, preferably on the border between sunny patches and shadow. So far, they were observed pollen-feeding on blossoms of Pinus mugo mugo and Salix caprea, but also on young and therefore sticky leaves of beech, on which pollen of wind-pollinated plants had gathered. Due to its wide range of vertical distribution, the flight time of the imagines ranges from April till early August (Kurz & Kurz 2012).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.

Anatomy:

, cuticula, scheme -genitalia, prep.-no. 715, M. Kurz: Lombardia, vicinity of Como, near Cavargna, 1997.05.03, leg. H/Z/K, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 601, M.Kurz: Tuscany, Lucca, near Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Filippi, 1993.05.14, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 255, M.Kurz: "Kasern, Fasanhügel; 15.5.1972; Salzburg Austria; leg. Fritz 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
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-genitalia, tip of phallus in higher magnification, prep.-no. 255, M.Kurz: "Kasern, Fasanhügel; 15.5.1972; Salzburg Austria; leg. Fritz Mairhuber", coll. Haus der Natur, Salzburg , cuticula, scheme -genitalia, prep.-no. 361, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Alpine foothills, Bürmoos, Roding, 1987.04.26, leg. H. Nelwek, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 260, M.Kurz: Salzburg, Pongau, Wagrain, Floitensberg, 1984.06.10, leg. Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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-genitalia, prep.-no. 361, M.Kurz: "Roding; 26.04.1987; NELWEK", coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, receptaculum seminis in higher magnification, prep.-no. 361, M.Kurz: "Roding; 26.04.1987; NELWEK", coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Genitalia. Uncus more or less long, slender and somewhat flattened; accessory claspers broad, with a row of quite long, partly bent spines at lower margin as well as with a shorter row of strongly modified, more or less Y-shaped, short thickened setae; valvae long, somewhat spatulate, narrower medially, their ends distinctly bent upwards; at inner surface with a greater group of basal setae as well as with an irregular row of shorter spines at lower margin and a row of long, flexible setae in the centre of the distal third of the valvae.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing; sternite IX much reduced, constricted in its middle, with indistinct lateral margins; terminal papillae with centrally somewhat enlarged band of sclerotization, whose form is not diagnostic; ductus receptaculi at the onset of the receptaculum seminis straight and very narrow for a short distance; receptaculum seminis short and a little stout, the last part an enlarged sac, with a distinct transverse striation and a very narrow appendix at the end.

Diagnosis:

M. schaefferi : Austria, Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubach valley, Enzingerboden, 1500 m, 1994.05.13, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. osthelderi : Bavaria, national park Berchtesgaden, Klausbachtal, 900 m, 2002.05.02, leg. Alfred Haslberger, coll. Michael Kurz M. facetella : Croatia, Dalmatia, near Dubrovnik, Cilipi, Komaji, 2003.05.03, leg. Christof Zeller & Michael Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. vulturensis : Abruzzo, Gran Sasso d´Italia, Campo Imperatore, Vado di Sole, 1993.05.24, leg. Hausenblas, Zeller, Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. zangheriella : Emilia Romagna, near Lizzano in Belvedere, 800 m, 2002.06.01, leg. Renate Hausenblas und Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. schaefferi -genitalia, prep.-no. 715, M. Kurz: Lombardia, vicinity of Como, near Cavargna, 1997.05.03, leg. H/Z/K, coll. Michael Kurz M. osthelderi -genitalia, prep.-no. 789, M. Kurz: Bavaria, national park Berchtesgaden, Klausbachtal, 900 m, 2002.05.02, leg. Alfred Haslberger, 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
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. vulturensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 550, M. Kurz: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maielletta, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. zangheriella -genitalia, prep.-no. 944, M. Kurz: Toscana, Firenze, Marradi, Badia Valle, 430 m, 1997.05.13, coll. Museo Friulano M. schaefferi -genitalia, prep.-no. 361, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Alpine foothills, Bürmoos, Roding, 1987.04.26, leg. H. Nelwek, coll. Michael Kurz M. osthelderi -genitalia, prep.-no. 762, M. Kurz: northern Tyrol, Stubaier Alpen, Gschnitz, 1300 m, 1918.07.10, leg. Koschabek, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. facetella -genitalia, prep.-no. 957, M. Kurz: Montenegro, Herceg-Novi, Igalo, 2003.05.02, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. vulturensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 951, M. Kurz: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maielletta, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. zangheriella -genitalia, prep.-no. 954, M. Kurz: Emilia Romagna, near Lizzano in Belvedere, 760 m, 2002.05.30, leg. C. Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
 

M. schaefferi is normally easily recognized by its golden inner and outer margins and by the costal spot at 2/3. Micropterix osthelderi has a much more extensive bronzy golden colouration at the base of the forewing (including the fascia at 1/4 which is also bronzy golden and not whitish golden). Micropterix facetella Zeller, 1851 (from Balkans) often lacks the golden colouration at the apex and at the outer margin. Micropterix vulturensis Heath, 1981 and Micropterix zangheriella Heath, 1963, being very similar superficially, can be distinguished from M. schaefferi with certainty only by investigating the male genitalia. The former of these two species seems to be allopatric from M. schaefferi, being distributed in central and southern Italy, whereas the latter has been found sympatrically in the northern Apennines. From the Peloponnesos peninsula as well as from western Turkey and the Aegean island of Samos, we know of two recently undescribed species, which are overall also quite similar to M. schaefferi. The latter probably gave rise to the records of M. schaefferi from Turkey (see above).
Concerning the male genitalia, M. facetella is somewhat similar, but is distinguished by its longer uncus, the more distinctly pronounced and narrower accessory claspers and by having only three basal setae at the inner surface of the valvae (M. schaefferi having a group of more numerous setae). Even more similar is M. vulturnesis, but the row of thickened setae on the accessory claspers extends further proximally in M. schaefferi, the accessory claspers are more pointed at the apex, and the valves are somewhat longer and more slender. M. osthelderi and M. zangheriella are easily distinguished in the male genitalia.
Concerning the structures of the female genitalia, M. osthelderi and M. schaefferi can be separated quite easily by the sclerotization of the terminal papillae, which is medially more enlarged in M. osthelderi. M. facetella also is very distinct by the reticulation of the sclerites of segments VII and VIII. In M. zangheriella, the sclerotization of the papillae anales is medially not enlarged. M. vulturensis however, is indistinguishable with respect to the female genitalia.

Phylogeny: Concerning the male genitalia, M. schafferi does not show any closer affinities to any other species of the genus, exept maybe for M. vulturensis. DNA-data have not yet been published.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Heath, J. 1975. The ammanella complex of the genus Micropterix Hübner [1825] (Lepidoptera: Zeugloptera, Micropterigidae). – Entomologist´s Gazette 26: 253–258.
Herrich-Schäffer, G. A. W. 1847–1855 ["1853–1855"]. Systematische Bearbeitung der Schmetterlinge von Europa, zugleich als Text, Revision und Supplement zu Jakob Hübner’s Sammlung europäischer Schmetterlinge. 5. Die Schaben und Federmotten: [1]–2–394 + [1]–2–52, 124 + 7 + 1 pl. Regensburg.
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2011. Micropterigidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.4., http://www.faunaeur.org [online 10 April 2012].
Koçak, A. Ö. & M. Kemal 2009. Revised Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Turkey. Priamus, supplement 17: 1-253.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2012. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 10 April 2012].
Meeß, A. 1910. Micropterygideae. pp. 483–484. – In: A. Spuler (1903–1910), Die Schmetterlinge Europas. – E. Schweitzerbart´sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart. 523 pp., 91 pls.
Meyrick, E. 1912. Adelidae, Micropterygidae, Gracilariadae. – In: H. Wagner (ed.), Lepidopterorum Catalogus, pars 6, Berlin.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2006.01.16
Zeller Christof: 2006.11.27
Kurz Michael: 2008.11.18
Kurz Michael: 2012.04.11
Kurz Michael: 2012.04.24
Kurz Michael: 2014.02.16
not reviewed

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