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 myrtetella Zeller, 1850

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropteryx myrtetella Zeller, 1850: 62.
Type locality: Italy, Tuscany, Montenero near Livorno
Type: Holotype : in coll. NHM, London

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Micropteryx idae Rebel, 1902: 110. Type locality: Greece, Peloponnes, Taygetos, Kambos. probably infrasubspecific.

Habit:

M. myrtetella s.str. : Lower Austria, Wiener Becken, Gumpoldskirchen, 1941.06.25, coll. NHMW M. myrtetella s.str. : Croatia, Kvarneric islands, Krk, Baska, 2002.04.30, leg. Jan Liska, coll. Jan Liska M. myrtetella trans. ad f. idae : Greece, Peloponnesos, Taygetos, Langada-ravine, 1999.05.26, leg. Puchmayr/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. myrtetella f. idae : Greece, Peloponnesos, Taygetos, Langada-ravine, 1999.05.26, leg. Puchmayr/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. myrtetella f. idae : Greece, Peloponnesos, Monemvasia, 370m, 2005.05.06, leg. Embacher & Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
     

Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults: Examined: 28 , 14 (incl. holotypes of M. myrtetella and M. idae). Forewing length: 2.2–2.8 mm, 2.6–3.0 mm. Head black-brown, vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dirty white, yellow or brown; antennae brown, bronzy golden shining, about 4/5 (), respectively, 2/3 () of forewing length; thorax golden to bronzy golden; tegulae coppery to purple, mixed with bronzy golden scales; forewings from unicolorous coppery or bronzy golden or light bronzy golden and reddish golden to purple in the basal third with light golden markings, to purple or purplish violet, distally often lighter, with golden, delicately bronzy golden bordered markings: A broad fascia at 1/4 across the whole wing width, constricted towards costa and sometimes not quite reaching it, reduced to a broad, triangle-shaped spot, reaching across more than half of the wing width in typical M. idae or completely obsolete in bronzy golden forms; a broad fascia nearly at 1/2, bent outwards, sometimes constricted or even interrupted in the middle, in light forms also obsolete; seldom a small costal spot at 2/3; a broad, irregularly formed spot at 3/4, extending from costa across somewhat more than middle of wing, this spot sometimes also indistinct or completely atrophied; fringe golden, whitish outwards; hindwing bronzy golden with a purple tinge; fringe bronzy golden, lighter outwards; legs and abdomen brown, golden shining.

Remarks. Typical forms of M. myrtetella are mostly found in Italy and the south-eastern part of central Europe, whereas typical M. idae are restricted to the south-easternmost parts of Greece. Throughout most Balkan countries, there can be found a wide range of intermediate forms with more or less reduced markings and a more or less shift from purple ground colour to a bronzy golden one.

Distribution:

According to Karsholt & Nieukerken (2011) the species occurs in Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece (see also Heath 1965b), as well as in the Ukraine. The male specimen found in Austria (Gumpoldskirchen) has been verified by genitalia examination. Further confirmed records are from the type locality in Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece (Kurz & Kurz 2012). Vertically, records have been documented from near sea-level up to 820 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2012).

Biology:

 
Mediterranean hard shrub: Montenegro, Herceg-Novi, Igalo, above the village, 2003.05.03 Imagines on blossoms of olive trees (Olea europaea): Greece, Epirus, Gliki, 2002.05.13 : Croatia, Baska Voda, 150 m, 2011.05.19  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: © Zeller Christof
Detailed view
Picture from: © Zeller Christof
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The species inhabits outskirts and edges of medium to tall, dense mediterranean wood- or shrubland and associated tall herb vegetation, but specimens have also been found around partly shady, rocky slopes. The animals are day-active at least from 10:00 am to 17:00 pm and have been found feeding gregariously on the pollen of Olea europaea, Cistus creticus and, probably, Cistus salviifolius. They are on the wing in one generation from the end of April till early July, depending on the altitude (all information retrieved from Kurz & Kurz 2012).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.

Anatomy:

M. myrtetela s.str. -genitalia, prep.-no. 754, M. Kurz: Croatia, Kvarneric islands, Krk, Baska, 2002.04.30, leg. Jan Liska, coll. Jan Liska M. myrtetella s.str. -genitalia, prep.-no. 818, M. Kurz: Greece, Epirus, Acheron, Gliki, 2002.05.13, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. myrtetella f. idae -genitalia, prep.-no. 896, M. Kurz: Greece, Peloponnesos, Taygetos, Kastanea, 1999.05.24, leg. Puchmayr & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. myrtetella s.str. -genitalia, receptaculum seminis in higher magnification, prep.-no. 818, M. Kurz: Greece, Epirus, Acheron, Gliki, 2002.05.13, 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: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Genitalia. Uncus short with broad rounded tip; ventrally and inside the tegumen a tuft of hair-like setae; accessory claspers very broad; along their anterior margin on the inner surface a row of short, straight spinoid setae, slightly bent at their end; at the lower end, somewhat located proximally, a second row of five or six short, straight spinoid setae; particularly stout and modified setae have not been found; valvae moderately long, slender, constricted medially, the distal fourth spatulate to somewhat triangle-shaped and somewhat bent upwards; postbasally a row of three or four moderately long, nearly straight spinoid setae at the inner surface of the valvae; at the inner surface of the enlarged end a row of six or seven straight, short spinoid setae and some normal setae.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing, sternite IX reduced, strongly constricted medially, not characteristic; terminal papillae with sclerotization in an indistinct band; receptaculum seminis short and stout, the second half bag-like inflated, with genero-typical striation; vestibulum moderately large, simple, like a sac.

Diagnosis:

M. myrtetella s.str. : Lower Austria, Wiener Becken, Gumpoldskirchen, 1941.06.25, coll. NHMW, Vienna M. rablensis : Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Tarvisio, Lago del Predil, 2001.06.30, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. croatica : Italy, Triest, 1910.06.12, leg. Wolfschläger, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. trinacriella : Sicilia, surrounding of Mount Ätna, Mandanici, 2000.06.13, leg. Lastuvka, coll. Jan Liska
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. cassinella ALLOTYPE: IT, Monte Cassino, Terelle, 1970.06.24, leg. Josef Klimesch; coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. myrtetella f. idae : Greece, Peloponnesos, Monemvasia, 370m, 2005.05.06, leg. Embacher & Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. aruncella : Austria, Salzburg, Thalgau, 1989.05.18, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz M. myrtetela s.str. -genitalia, prep.-no. 754, M. Kurz: Croatia, Kvarneric islands, Krk, Baska, 2002.04.30, leg. Jan Liska, coll. Jan Liska
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. rablensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 787, M. Kurz: Styria, near Graz, Gösting, [? 18]66.06.20, coll. NHMW, Vienna M. croatica -genitalia, prep.-no. 744, M. Kurz: Croatia, Istria, near Opatija, Ucka, 2001.06.23, leg. Hausenblas und Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz M. trinacriella, -genitalia, prep.-no. 578, M.Kurz, HOLOTYPE: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefalù, 1982.04.22, leg. J.Klimesch, coll. Michael Kurz M. cassinella -genitalia, prep.-no. 765, M. Kurz: PARATYPE; Lazio, Frosinone, Capo d´Acqua, 1200 m, 1982.07.08, leg. Josef Klimesch, 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. aruncella -genitalia, prep.-no. 780, M. Kurz: Vorarlberg, Bregenzer Wald, near Mellau, trail to Hangspitze, 2004.08.07, coll. Michael Kurz M. myrtetella f. idae -genitalia, prep.-no. 896, M. Kurz: Greece, Peloponnesos, Taygetos, Kastanea, 1999.05.24, leg. Puchmayr & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. rablensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 814, M. Kurz: Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giuglia, near Tarvis, Lago del Predil, 2001.06.30, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. croatica -genitalia, prep.-no. 963, M. Kurz: Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Triest, 1973.05.04, leg. J. Klimesch, 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. trinacriella, -genitalia, prep.-no. 909, M.Kurz: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefalù, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. cassinella -genitalia, prep.-no. 759, M. Kurz: Campania, San Salvatore Telesino, 2000.06.10, leg. Lastuvka, coll. Jan Liska M. aruncella -genitalia, prep.-no. 809, M. Kurz: Slovenia, Karst, Wippach valley, Nanos, 600 m, 1998.05.25, leg. Helmut Deutsch, coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
 

The typical M. myrtetella is very similar to Micropterix rablensis Zeller, 1868 and Micropterix croatica Heath & Kaltenbach, 1984 (all three species are of about the same size), but can be separated most easily by its golden spot at 3/4, which never spreads across the whole width of the forewing. The male genitalia of all three species are also very similar. M. myrtetella can be recognized by the less stout shape of the whole genitalia and by its distinctly pronounced uncus. Furthermore, the species can be separated from M. rablensis by its postbasal row of spinoid setae on the valvae. Also very similar is Micropterix trinacriella Kurz, Zeller & Kurz, 1997 from Sicily, which can be distinguished easily by its genitalia. The same applies to Micropterix cassinella Kurz & Kurz 2012, which can be recognized for certainty only by examination of the genitalia too. Unmarked forms without any markings may resemble somewhat females or unmarked males of Micropterix aruncella (Scopoli, 1763) in both the typical form with yellow vestiture of hair-like scales on the head as well as f. atricapilla Wocke, 1877 with black-brown vestiture of hair-like scales on the head. Nevertheless, M. aruncella normally is distinctly larger in wingspan than M. myrtetella and is readily distinguishable in male and female genitalia.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Heath, J. 1965b. Ergebnisse der Albanien-Expedition 1961 des Deutschen Entomologischen Institutes, 33. Beitrag, Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae. – Beiträge zur Entomologie 15: 641–647.
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 22 February 2012].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2012. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 22 February 2012].
Zeller, P. C. 1850. Verzeichnis der von Herrn Jos. Mann beobachteten Toscanischen Microlepidoptera. – Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 11: 59–64.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2012.03.07
Kurz Michael: 2012.06.27
Kurz Michael: 2012.07.09
Kurz Michael: 2012.09.21
Kurz Michael: 2012.09.23
not reviewed

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