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

Nemophora raddaella (Hübner, 1793)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Phalaena (Tinea) raddaella Hübner, 1793: pl. 23.
Type locality: None given
Type: None designated

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Tinea raddella Hübner, 1796. Lapsus calami.
Alucita latreillella Fabricius, 1798. Junior subjective synonym. By some authors (e.g. Küppers 1980) raised to subspecific rank.
Nematois algeriensis Walsingham, 1907. Junior subjective synonym.


: Sicilia, Ficuzza, Passo dell Vento, 2001.06.08, leg. Norbert Pöll, coll. Michael Kurz : Sicilia, Ficuzza, Passo dell Vento, 2001.06.08, leg. Norbert Pöll, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 3 , 9 . Forewing length: 7.5 - 8.4 mm, 7.2 - 7.95 mm. Head black-brown, collare and frons whitish yellow to rusty yellow in , with additional dufts of black, erect, hair-like scales anterior and posterior to the eyes; in females, duft posterior to the eyes of light yellow colour; face smoothly scaled, metallic golden shining; eyes much enlarged in males, 0.8 mm in diameter and approximated parietally; in , eyes about 0.55 mm in diameter, distance of eyes (frontally) about 1.5 times their diameter; eyes light grey to golden brown with faint golden shimmer; labial palpi 1.1 - 1.4 mm long, slender, in black-brown, in smoothly yellow scaled, straight, diverging ahead; palpi with additional, yellowish-white to yellow, hair-like scales of about 0.5 mm length, densely arranged and projecting downwards and ahead, as well as single black setae, especially dorsally; proboscis yellow scaled at its basis; antennae in about 2, dark brown, with violet to blueish-violet shimmer at the basis and purple glance to about 4/5 of forewing length; antennae distally silvery-white; antennae filiform, smoothly scaled, close to the base with a comb of erect scales; antennae in about 1 1/4 of forewing length, dark brown, basally with blueish-violet, distal with purple shimmer, distalmost forth silvery-white; thorax and tegulae bronzy golden to purple shining; forewing purple-violet along inner margin to 1/2, along costa in a broad stripe to apex, otherwise bronzy golden with indistinct golden illuminations; forewing often also completely bronzy golden to purple, purple to purple-violet only in a broad stripe in the distal part along the costa; a small whitish-yellow spot at tornus, sometimes missing; a spot of similar colour at costa at 2/3, oval shaped, inwardly oblique across about 1/4 of the wing width; fringe bronzy golden to purple, distally somewhat lighter; hindwing with broad scales, completely covering the wing membrane, grey-brown, with deep violet shimmer; anterior margin with a distinctly bordered silver-white stripe along costa from base along more than the half wing length; anal area and area around tornus bronzy golden; fringe consisting of two rows of scales, proximal row bronzy golden to purple, distal row bronzy golden to silvery-white; underside of wings dark brown, devoid of any markings, with violet shimmer, turning to blueish-violet along costa of both fore- and hindwings; inner margin of forewing indistinctly light golden; fringe bronzy golden, on hindwing lighter distalwards; thorax laterally metallic greenish golden; legs dark brown, bronzy golden to purple shimmering; foretibia without epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of long spurs; hindtibia inflated, with a duft of long, hair-like scales and a pair of spurs each at about 0.5 of the tibial length and at the distal end; all spurs beige, golden shining and thus distinctly lighter than legs; abdomen dark brown with weak bronzy golden to purple shimmer, laterally flattened in with heavily sclerotized tip.


In Europe, the species has been reported from the Iberian peninsula, the southern part of central Europe, as well as most of southern Europe (Karsholt & Nieukerken 2011). It is absent from other parts of the Palaearctic region (anonymous 2009a, Dubatolov 2009), as well as from North America (Hodges et al. 1983). Vertical distribution is documented from 400 - 1100 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2011).


Puglia, Promontorio del Gargano, near Vico del Gargano, 2005.06.29      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

The species inhabits poor meadows in dry and sunny conditions, rich in nectaring flowers. It has been observed nectaring on Scabiosa-sp. in full sunshine. The imagines are on the wing from May till July (Kurz & Kurz 2011).


N. raddaella : Sicilia, Ficuzza, Passo dell Vento, 2001.06.08, leg. Norbert Pöll, coll. Michael Kurz N. metallica : Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, 1986.07.04, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Due to its size and the characteristic yellow spots on the forewing, the species is unmistakeable.

Phylogeny: Morphologically, the species is closely allied to other members of the Nemophora metallica species group (Küppers 1980).

Worth knowing:


anonymous 2009a. An Identification Guide of Japanese Moths Compiled by Everyone. URL: http://www.jpmoth.org [online 26 April 2010].
Dubatolov, V. V. 2009. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum: Adelidae. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Incurvar.htm [online 26 April 2010].
Hodges, R. W. et al. 1983. Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. E. W. Classey, London, UK. Updated by Jean-François Landry, Don Lafontaine and Jim Troubridge [available on http://www.lepbarcoding.org/cl_nth_am.php]
Hübner, J. 1793. Sammlung auserlesener Vögel und Schmetterlinge, mit ihren Namen herausgegeben auf hundert nach der Natur ausgemalten Kupfern. Augsburg, 100 pls.
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2011. Adelidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.4., http://www.faunaeur.org [online 13 September 2011].
Küppers, P. V. 1980. Untersuchungen zur Taxonomie und Phylogenie der Westpaläarktischen Adelinae (Lepidoptera: Adelidae), Dissertation, Wissenschaftliche Beiträge Karlsruhe, Verlag M.Wahl, Karlsruhe.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2011. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 13 September 2011].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2011.09.13
not reviewed