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 rothenbachii Frey, 1856

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropteryx rothenbachii Frey, 1856: 52.
Type locality: Switzerland
Type: 2 syntypes in coll. BMNH.

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Micropterix australis Heath, 1981a: 99. Type locality: Maroggia (Switzerland, Ticino). Junior subjective synonym.
Micropterix vallebonnella Réal, 1988: 3–9. Type locality: Bonnevaux (Doubs, France). Junior subjective synonym.Micropteryx rothenbachi auctt. Incorrect subsequent spelling.
Micropterix germanica Heath. Nomen nudum
.

Remarks. This species was recognized as M. australis until 1987, whereas M. rothenbachii Frey, 1856 was said to be a synonym to M. allionella. In 1987, M. rothenbachii was re-established as a good species by Heath based on the examination of the type by Whitebread (see Whitebread 1992) and M. australis became synonymous to it.
Originally, Heath wanted to describe a Micropterix germanica, but he changed the name before printing to M. australis, since the holotype did not come from Germany (Sattler, pers. comm.). Therefore, there are specimens in collections labelled as "Micropterix germanica Heath".

Habit:

 
: Tuscany, Lucca, near Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Filippi, 1993.05.14, leg. Hausenblas, Zeller, Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz : Abruzzo, Gran Sasso d´Italia, Campo Imperatore, Vado di Sole, 1993.05.24, leg. Hausenblas, Zeller, Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz : Lombardia, Lago di Como Umgebung, near Cavargna, 1997.05.03, leg. Hausenblas, Zeller, 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: 27 , 12 . Forewing length: 3.6–4.6 mm; 4.5–5.0 mm. Head dark greyish brown, vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dirty white to rusty yellow; antennae 3/4 (), respectively, slightly more than 1/2 () of forewing length, distinctly bi-coloured: light golden at base (in reaching nearly to 1/3), brownish, more or less with a distinctly purple tinge apically; thorax bronzy golden; tegulae coppery to purple violet, sometimes with single bluish scales posteriorly; forewing brownish golden to purple violet with whitish golden to golden markings of variable width (distinctly broader in than in ), delicately bordered bronzy golden: Forewing bronzy golden at base; a fascia at 1/4, sometimes slightly broadened medially or narrowed in the upper third; a broad fascia close to 1/2, strongly bent distad and often broadened at the proximal margin; a small costal spot at 3/5; opposite, sometimes a very indistinct, very small spot at the proximal margin; a broad, triangle-shaped fascia at 3/4; this fascia sometimes enlarged along costa towards base and reaching the costal spot at 3/5, merging into a very large rectangular spot; this confluence often only subcostally developed, leaving at the costal margin a very small purple area; bronzy golden at the apex and at the outer margin, the bronzy golden colouration forming a slender fascia; tip of the apex coppery to purple; fringe whitish golden, bronzy to purple basally; hindwing bronzy golden with a variable purple tinge, especially at the apex; fringe bronzy golden, tips whitish; legs light bronzy golden; abdomen brownish, golden shining.

Distribution:

According to Heath (1981a), M. rothenbachii occurs in Germany (Schwarzwald), Switzerland, Austria (Klagenfurt) and Italy (incl. Sicily). Karsholt (2010) reports the species from France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy (not from Sicily !), Austria, Slovenia and Croatia (see also Zeller-Lukashort, Kurz & Kurz 2002). Vertically, records are documented from 200 - 1800 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2010).

Biology:

Carinthia, Warmbad Villach, way to Ruine Federaun, 2007.05.12 Carinthia, Warmbad Villach, way to Ruine Federaun, 2007.05.12 Carinthia, Warmbad Villach, way to Ruine Federaun, 2007.05.12 Slovenia, near Tarvis, Passo del Predil, 2001.06.30
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

The species inhabits light, dry and somewhat rocky, mixed beech forests, where it occurs in open places, mainly with natural cover such as brambles, grasses, etc. It is especially found along wood margins and on clearings. In central Italy, M. rothenbachii occurs together with Micropterix vulturensis Heath, 1981, and in the northern Apennines is syntopic with Micropterix schaefferi Heath, 1975 and Micropterix zangheriella Heath, 1963. The imagines have been found feeding on blossoms of Lonicera xylosteum. They are on the wing in one generation per year from the end of April to mid June (Kurz & Kurz 2010).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unkown.

Anatomy:

, scheme of cuticula -genitalia, prep.-no. 756, M. Kurz: Marche, Ascoli Piceno, Monti Sibillini, Forca Canapine, 1500 m, 1993.05.19, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 271, M. Kurz: Morcote; Lake Lugano; 2.4.09, coll. Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz -genitalia, tip of phallus in higher magnification, prep.-no. 271, M. Kurz: Morcote; Lake Lugano; 2.4.09, coll. Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz
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, preparation in caustic potassium, prep.-no. 888, M. Kurz: Veneto, Verona, 15 km north of Verona, Velo Veronese, 1000 m, 1999.06.19, leg. J. Wimmer, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 888, M. Kurz: Veneto, Verona, 15 km north of Verona, Velo Veronese, 1000 m, 1999.06.19, leg. J. Wimmer, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 339, M. Kurz: "Italia, M. Alitissimo; di Nago (Baldo); 1300 m; 8.VI.1949; J.Klimesch", coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayerischen Staates, Munich -genitalia, receptaculum seminis in higher magnification, prep.-no. 339, M. Kurz: "Italia, M. Alitissimo; di Nago (Baldo); 1300 m; 8.VI.1949; J.Klimesch", coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayerischen 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

Genitalia. Uncus short, stout, with a broadly rounded tip; ventrally beyond the uncus a brush of hair-like setae; accessory claspers broad proximally, acuminate distally, with three approximately Y-shaped, shorter thickened setae at the tip (mostly folded in permanent preparation and therefore hardly visible) and with 9–11 rigid, longer spinoid setae, sometimes slightly bent (six to eight on the apical part, two more further inside at the ventral margin, one somewhat dorsad); valvae distinctly bent, constricted beyond the middle, spatulate-shaped at the tip, with two irregular rows of shorter spinoid setae distal of the constriction at the ventral margin of the mesad surface; medially and postbasally a similar seta each.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing; sternite IX reduced, more constricted medially than laterally, strongly sclerotized with distinct margins; lateral margins irregular, maybe diagnostic for this species; terminal papillae with distinctly bordered sclerotized band, not protruding; ductus bursae at the beginning of the receptaculum seminis very narrow, before enlarging into a sac; receptaculum seminis moderately long, the first third small, then elongated into an enlarged sac; receptaculum seminis with typical striation.

Diagnosis:

M. rothenbachii : Tuscany, Lucca, near Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Filippi, 1993.05.14, leg. Hausenblas, Zeller, Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. allionella : Liguria, Savona, Noli, 1974.04, leg. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayerischen Staates, Munich M. huemeri PARATYPE: France, Alpes Maritimes, Marguareis, western slope, Navela, 2150 m, 1991.07.18, leg. Huemer & Tarmann, coll. Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum M. trifasciella : Piemonte, Piamprato, 1600 m, 1969.07.10, leg. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayerischen 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
M. hartigi : Tuscany, between Radicondoli and Belforte, 2000.04.29, leg. Renate Hausenblas und Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. rothenbachii, -genitalia, prep.-no. 756, M. Kurz: Marche, Ascoli Piceno, Monti Sibillini, Forca Canapine, 1500 m, 1993.05.19, coll. Michael Kurz M. allionella, -genitalia, prep.-no. 750, M. Kurz: Liguria, Savona, Noli, 1951.04.26, leg. Josef Klimesch, coll. Michael Kurz M. huemeri, -genitalia, MIC 2, TLMF, HOLOTYPE: "FRANKREICH; Dept. Alpes Maritimes; Marguareis W-Hang; Navela, 2100-2200 m, 18.7.1991; leg. Huemer & Tarmann", coll. Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum
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. trifasciella, -genitalia, prep.-no. 751, M. Kurz: Piemonte, province of Cuneo, Bellino, Santa Anna, Valle Traversagn, 2100 m, 2001.07.21, leg. Peter Huemer, coll. Michael Kurz M. hartigi, -genitalia, prep.-no. 676, M. Kurz: Puglia, Promontorio del Gargano, Foresta Umbra, 1993.05.22, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. rothenbachii, -genitalia, prep.-no. 888, M. Kurz: Veneto, Verona, 15 km north of Verona, Velo Veronese, 1000 m, 1999.06.19, leg. J. Wimmer, coll. Michael Kurz M. allionella, -genitalia, prep.-no. 812, M. Kurz: Emilia Romagna, northern Apennines, Sestola, 1992.05.29, leg. Hausenblas, 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. trifasciella, -genitalia, prep.-no. 813, M. Kurz: Piemonte, province of Cuneo, Colle dell´ Agnello, 2150 m, 2001.07.20, leg. Peter Huemer, coll. Michael Kurz M. hartigi, -genitalia, prep.-no. 887, M. Kurz: Basilicata, Lucano, Viggianello, 1000 m, 2000.06.07, leg. Christof Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   

From most other similar species, M. rothenbachii can be distinguished by the lack of the broad golden colouration of the inner margin, combined with very broad transverse fasciae. However, Micropterix allionella (Fabricius, 1794) is very similar externally, although its transverse fasciae are usually narrower and the golden colouration along the outer margin is less well developed or even missing.
In the male genitalia, M. rothenbachii closely resembles Micropterix huemeri, but can readily be distinguished by the more slender valvae, bearing a single stout spinoid seta in the middle of the constriction. Other similar species, like M. allionella or Micropterix trifasciella Heath, 1965 can be best separated by the structure of the accessory claspers, bearing the two anteriormost thickened setae on a small separate lobe. The female genitalia of all four species are to present knowledge indistinguishable.

Phylogeny: The four above mentioned species, along with Micropterix hartigi Heath, 1981, seem to form a complex of closely allied taxa, characterized especially by the structure of their male genitalia. They have in common the one or two anteriormost setae on the ventral margin of the accessory claspers being distinctly offset from the others in the row.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Frey, H. 1856: Die Tineen und Pterophoren der Schweiz. – Zürich.
Heath, J. 1981a. Two new species of Micropterix Huebner (Lepidoptera, Zeugloptera: Micropterigidae). – Entomologist’s Gazette 32: 99–102.
Heath, J. 1996. Family Micropterigidae – In: O. Karsholt & J. Razowski (eds), The Lepidoptera of Europa. A distributional checklist. – Apollo-Books, Stenstrup.
Karsholt, O. 2010. 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 05 November 2010].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2010. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 05 November 2010].
Réal, P. 1988. Lépidoptčres nouveaux principalement jurassiens. – Mémoires du Comité de Liaison pour les Recherches Ecofaunistiques dans le Jura (CL.E.R.J.), No. 4: 3–9.
Whitebread, S. 1992. The Micropterigidae of Switzerland, with a key to their identification (Lepidoptera). – Nota lepidopterologica, suppl. 4: 129–143.
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: 2006.03.31
Zeller Christof: 2006.11.18
Kurz Michael: 2008.11.17
Kurz Michael: 2009.11.24
Kurz Michael: 2010.09.10
Kurz Michael: 2010.11.05
Kurz Michael: 2010.11.09
Kurz Michael: 2011.11.17
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2011.11.17
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2011.11.17

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