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

Stigmella aceris (Frey, 1857)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Nepticula aceris Frey 1857: 386.
Type locality: Switzerland, Zürich
Type: Holotype : Switzerland, Zürich, Mines on Acer campestris, early July, ex larva 23rd July 1856, Frey, genitalia preparation BM 21628, in coll. NHM, London (Nieukerken 2014)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Nepticula penicillata Heinemann & Wocke 1877
Nepticula szöcsi Klimesch 1956.


, schematic      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: : "Wingspan: 3.7-4.9 mm. Head: frontal tuft dark fuscous; collar large, white; scape large, white; antenna shorter than half length of forewing. Forewing: area proximal to fascia golden fuscous with purple tinge near costa; fascia postmedial, silvery to pale golden, sometimes ill-defined or altogether absent; distal to fascia dark purplish brown often with a few dark blue scales; terminal cilia concolorous but paler at tips. Hindwing: pale grey." (Nieukerken 2014)
. "Wingspan: 4.3-4.7 mm. Head: antenna distinctly less than half length of forewing. Otherwise similar to male." (Nieukerken 2014).


The species inhabits nearly all of Europe, except for the western and extreme southern parts (Karsholt & Nieukerken 2014). Furthermore, it has been recorded for Turkey (Koçak & Kemal 2009). It is absent from Siberia, the eastern Palaearctic region and North America (Dubatolov 2009, anonymous 2014, Hodges et al. 1983). Vertically, records are known so far from sea-level to 600 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2014).


S. aceris is found on edges of deciduous woods, in bushland and parks (Kurz & Kurz 2014). In central Europe, it develops two generations per year, in southern Europe even three (Nieukerken 2014).

Stages in development:

The mine on Acer campestre: Burgenland, Neusiedlersee, Winden Umgebung, Ludl-Loch, 2003.08.13 Salzburg, city of Salzburg, hospital park, 2015.07.21, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz The mine on Acer platanoides: Salzburg, Flachgau, Eugendorf, Pebering, 2002.09.17  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

"Egg: usually on underside of leaf, occasionally on upperside.

Larva: green. Mine: long, narrow, sinuous gallery, filled with coiled greenish frass, rarely leaving narrow clear margins; in last centimetre of mine frass becomes darker and more or less linear; exit-hole on upperside. Fresh mines are hard to find, since frass and larva have approximately same colour as leaf; in withered mines frass becomes brown. Cocoon: brownish." (Nieukerken 2014). The larvae have been found feeding on Acer campestre and Acer platanoides (Kurz & Kurz 2014), Nieukerken (2014) additionally lists Acer tataricum.


-genitalia (drawn after Johansson et al. 1990) -genitalia (drawn after Johansson et al. 1990)    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Genitalia. "Vinculum with distinct lateral corners. Tegumen slightly wider than uncus. Uncus with hind margin slightly emarginate, margins well sclerotized. Gnathos with very long transverse bar, long horns and distinct anterior processes. Valva with narrowly pointed inner lobe, one short distal process at ventral side and one longer, arcuate distal process at dorsal side. Transtilla with long, outwardly-curved sublateral processes. Anterior margin of juxta with distinctly more sclerotized bar. Aedeagus approximately 1.3 to 1.5 times length of genital capsule; vesica with numerous close-set very small, blunt cornuti and pointed or bidentate spines." (Nieukerken 2014).

Genitalia. "Corpus bursae with band of small spines near accessory sac. Accessory sac small. Apophyses anteriores unusually broad and blunt, distinctly shorter than apophyses posteriores, which are long and thin. Posterior margin of tergum VIII prolonged medially into pointed posterior process." (Nieukerken 2014).


"S. speciosa (Frey) (also on Acer) differs from aceris males by the presence of androconial scales on the hindwing and the greenish golden base of the forewing and in the females by the ferruginous head. S. crataegella also resembles aceris, but differs by usually smaller size and more brightly coloured forewings and, in the male, fuscous hindwings with short androconial scales along costa and dorsum. Male genitalia characterized by the combination of two distal processes on valva and the presence of a juxta. Female genitalia can be easily distinguished from species outside aceris group by the band of small spines near accessory sac and broad and blunt apophyses anteriores; the medial process on tergum VIII is present in only prunetorum and aceris among the northern European species." (Nieukerken 2014). The mine is also easy to separate from S. speciosa, not only that it feeds on different species of Acer, but also its black frass leaves clear margins in speciosa (Nieukerken 2014).

Worth knowing:


anonymous 2014. An Identification Guide of Japanese Moths Compiled by Everyone. URL: http://www.jpmoth.org [online 2014.02.10].
Dubatolov, V. V. 2014. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum: Nepticulidae. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Nepticul.htm [online 2014.02.10].
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]
Johansson, R., E. S. Nielsen, E. J. van Nieukerken & B. Gustafsson 1990. The Nepticulidae and Opostegidae (Lepidoptera) of North West Eurpe. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, vol. 23, 2 parts, 739 pp., 1122 [54 col.] figures.
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2011. Nepticulidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.4, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 2014.02.10].
Koçak, A. Ö. & M. Kemal 2009. Revised Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Turkey. Priamus, supplement 17: 1-253.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2014. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 2014.02.10].
Nieukerken, E. J. van 2014: Nepticulidae and Opostegidae of the world. - URL: http://nepticuloidea.info/ [online 2014.02.10].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2005.08.28
Kurz Michael: 2005.09.02
Kurz Michael: 2014.02.11
Kurz Michael: 2015.10.29
Kurz Michael: 2016.04.19
Kurz Michael: 2016.05.03
not reviewed