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 anglica Jarzembowski, 1980

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropterix anglica Jarzembowski, 1980: 263 - 265
Type locality: Great Britain, England, Isle of Wight, Bembridge Marls, Oligocene, Priabonian period (also known as ETE Locality 797)
Type: Holotype: Great Britain, England, Isle of Wight, Bembridge Marls, in coll. BMNH

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


Holotype, forewing: Top image from Jarzembowski, 1980, page 264. Bottom image taken by J. Sohn, 2009.      
Picture from: LepTree Team (creative commons)
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: Holotype, greater part of forewing: Drawing by Jarzembowski (1980); photo by Sohn (2009): Forewing length: Estimated at about 4 mm (Jarzembowski 1980); veins dark brown, intervening membrane light brown; Sc forked, reaching the costal margin at about 3/5 of the forewing length; R1 free, reaching the costal margin at about 2/3 of the forewing length; R2 and R3 originating from the distal half of the additional cell; R4, R5 and M1 free, originating from the discoidal cell; forks of M2+M3 and CuA1+CuA2 approximately at the same distal distance from the basis of the wing like the proximal beginning of the additional cell; CuP single, 1A represented only by a short distal portion; crossvein R-M faint, no traces of Sc-R nor M-Cu.


The species is known only from a single specimen from the type locality.


Following Jarzembowski (1980), Carex- and Ranunculus-species are represented in the fossil bed, the pollen of both genera being known to be fed on by recent Micropterix-species (Zeller et al. 2007). The palaeoenvironment is assumed to be coastal, low floodplain, the lithology to be agrillaceous (Labandeira 1998).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.


M. anglica holotype: Forewing: Top image from Jarzembowski, 1980, page 264. Bottom image taken by J. Sohn, 2009. M. immensipalpa holotype: Image A from Kusnezov, 1941. Image B1 + B2 from Kusnezov, 1941. Fore wing venation. Image C from Kozlov, 1988. Fore wing venation. M. gertraudae holotype, scheme of venation: Russia, Kaliningrad, Palmnicken, in coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: LepTree Team (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: LepTree Team (creative commons)
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

M. anglica is slightly larger than ?Micropterix immensipalpa (Kuznezov, 1941) (about 4 versus 3.2 mm). R1 of the forewing meets the costal margin at about 2/3 of the forewing length (1/2 in M. immensipalpa). Micropterix gertraudae Kurz & Kurz, 2010 is assumed to be 40.4 - 48.6 Ma old (Lutetian period see Ritzowski 1997, Hoffeins in litt.), whereas the age of M. anglica is around 33.9 - 37.2 Ma (Labandeira 1998). The former species is much smalles (2.6 mm forewing length versus about 4 mm). In the venation, there are no significant differences.

Phylogeny: We do not know any apomorphies that would permit a certain assignment of M. anglica to the genus Micropterix Hübner, 1825 or even to the family Micropterigidae (Kristensen 1998, Kristensen in litt.). As far as visible, the vein details agree well with the extant genus Micropterix. The absence of crossveins Sc-R and M-Cu is probably due to preservational failure, but they may be weakly developed also in recent Micropterigids.

Worth knowing:

The fossil is a Bembridge Marls member (Bouldnor Formation), Priabonian. Its age is assumed to be 37.2 - 33.9 Ma (Labandeira 1998).


Jarzembowski, E. A. 1980. Fossil insects from the Bembridge Marls, Palaeogene of the Isle of Wight, southern England. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Geology. 33 (4): 237-293, text-fig. 1-77.
Kristensen, N. P. 1998. The non-glossatan moths: 41–49. – In: N. P. Kristensen (ed.), Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Vol. 1: Evolution, systematics, and biogeography. – In: M. Fischer (ed.), Handbook of Zoology. Vol. IV Arthropoda: Insecta, Part 35. – Walter De Gruyter, Berlin and New York.
Labandeira, C. 1998 The Palaeobiolgy Database: URL: http://paleodb.org/cgi-bin/bridge.pl?action=basicCollectionSearch&collection_no=21976&is_real_user=1 [visited 1 February 2010].
LepTree Team 2010. Accessed Jan 27, 2010 at
Ritzkowski, S. 1997. Geschichte der Bernsteinsammlung der Albertus-Universität zu Königsberg i. Pr., Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen.
Zeller-Lukashort, H. C., M. E. Kurz, D. C. Lees & M. A. Kurz 2007: A review of Micropterix Hübner, 1825 from northern and central Europe (Micropterigidae); Nota lepidopterologica 30 (2): 235 – 298.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2010.01.30
Kurz Michael: 2010.02.01
Kurz Michael: 2010.02.08
Kurz Marion: 2010.02.11
Kurz Michael: 2010.02.23
Kurz Michael: 2010.03.08
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2010.03.08
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2010.03.13