N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S á I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Micropterix sicanella Zeller, 1847

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropteryx sicanella Zeller, 1847: 814-815
Type locality: Italy, Sicily, near Messina
Type: Syntypes probably in coll. NHM, London

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Micropteryx isobasella sensu Viette, 1948: 43 - 44, fig. 33. Misidentification
Micropteryx sicanella Zeller, 1847 f. obsoleta Heath, 1963: 131 - 132, fig. 3. Infrasubspecific.
Micropteryx paykullella sensu auctorum. Misidentification.

Habit:

: Sicilia, Taormina, 1971.04.10, leg. Kusdas, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayerischen Staates, Munich : Sicilia, Zappulla, 1935.04.25, coll. NHMW, Vienna f.obsoleta: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefal¨, 1982.04.17, leg. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayerischen Staates, Munich f.obsoleta: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefal¨, 1982.04.17, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen 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

Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults: Examined: 7 , 2 . Forewing length: 3.0 - 3.8 mm; 3.7 - 3.9 mm. Head black-brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dirty white to dark yellow; antennae brown to dark brown, golden to reddish golden shining, 4/5 (), respectively, 4/7 () of forewing length; thorax golden to bronzy golden, distally sometimes purple; tegulae bronzy golden, distally often coppery to purple; forewings either golden, bronzy golden at the basis, reddish towards the apex without any further markings (f. obsoleta Heath, 1963), or bronzy golden in the proximal half of the wing, coppery to reddish golden between the fasciae, especially towards the costa, distally reddish golden to purple, with whitish golden, indistinct markings: At slightly less than 1/2 an outwardly bent fascia across the whole wing width; at 2/3 often a small costal spot; at 3/4 a moderately broad, slightly inwardly oblique fascia from costa across more than 3/4 of the wing width, mostly not reaching the outer margin; fringe light golden to golden, basally often with a reddish tinge, whitish outwards; hindwings light greyish golden to bronzy golden, distally bronzy golden to coppery; fringe greyish golden to bronzy golden, often with a slight reddish tinge, whitish outwards; legs and abdomen brown, golden shining.

Distribution:

Karsholt (2010) reports the species for mainland Italy, Sicily, Corse and Portugal. According to Heath (1963) and Leraut (1980), M. sicanella inhabits Tuscany, Emilia, Sicily, Sardinia and Corse. The records for the northern part of Italy, as well as for the Tyrrhenian archipelago have to be proved. Those for Portugal have severely been doubted by Corley (2007) already. Vertical records have been documented so far only near sea-level (Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Biology:

Zeller (1847) reports the species from suny places on leafes and blossoms of Euphorbia characias, on blossoms of Erica arborea, but also on herb-rich places in the grass. Furthermore, he has found M. sicanella around Hippocrepis emerus and blossoming Rubus. Klimesch has found the specimens feeding on blossoms of Cistus salviifolius. The imagines are on the wing from mid March till early may (Zeller 1847, Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.

Anatomy:

-genitalia, prep.-no. 949, M. Kurz: Sicilia, Taormina, 1971.04.10, leg. Kusdas Karl, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich -genitalia, prep.-no. 527, M. Kurz: "Led.; 853", "Glogau [sic!]; Led", coll. Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna -genitalia, accessory clasper with modified setae in higher magnification, prep.-no. 527, M. Kurz: "Led.; 853", "Glogau [sic!]; Led", coll. Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna f. obsoleta -genitalia, preparation in caustic potash, prep.-no. 948, M. Kurz: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefal¨, 1982.04.17, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen 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
   
f. obsoleta -genitalia, permanent preparation, prep.-no. 948, M. Kurz: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefal¨, 1982.04.17, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich -genitalia, receptaculum seminis in higher magnification, prep.-no. 553, M. Kurz: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefal¨, 1982.04.22, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   

Genitalia. Uncus long and slender with a slightly spatulate tip; tufts of hair-like setae inside the stout tegumen; accessory claspers small, bent, bladebone-like; at the edge nearest to the uncus a group of 5 short, more or less straight, stout and thickened setae; along the anterior margin a bent row of about 8 long, elongate sickle-shaped, stout and thickened setae; more proximally, along the posterior margin a row of 5 - 6 very long, slightly bent, stout and thickened setae with screwed tips; between the accessory claspers and the basis of the valves, a paddle-like, sclerotized lobe on both sides; valves moderatley long, constricted medially, the broadend tip bent upwards like a golf club; valves postbasally at the inner surface with a greater group of short, stout steae; the broadend tip with a row of long setae and 1 - 2 irregular rows of short, stout and thickened setae.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing; sternite IX much reduced, only weakly sclerotized; papillae anales band-like, weakly sclerotized; receptaculum seminis relatively short, the proximal half slender, the distal half bag-like enlarged; at the distalmost end a long and slender appendix; receptaculum seminis with distinct striation.

Diagnosis:

M. sicanella : Sicilia, Zappulla, 1935.04.25, coll. NHMW, Vienna M. aureoviridella : Austria, Salzburg, Pongau, Hochk÷nig, Kaserfeld-Mandlwand, 1750 m, 1994.07.02, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. paykullella : France, Hautes Alpes, Brianšon, NÚvache, Crŕte de la PÚpio, 2001.07.10, leg. et coll. W. Speidel M. sicanella f. obsoleta : Sicilia, northern coast, Cefal¨, 1982.04.17, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen 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. calthella : Toskana, Pisa, Nńhe Laura, Lorenzana, 1995.05.07, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. aruncella : Austria, Salzburg, Thalgau, 1989.05.18, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz M. sicanella -genitalia, prep.-no. 949, M. Kurz: Sicilia, Taormina, 1971.04.10, leg. Kusdas Karl, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. aureoviridella -genitalia, prep.-no. 778, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Habachtal, near Gasthaus Enzian, 2004.07.17, leg. et 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. paykullella, unmarked form, -genitalia, prep.-no. 741, M. Kurz: France, Alpes Maritimes, Marguareis, 2000.07.22, leg. Hausenblas & Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz M. calthella -genitalia, prep.-no. 251, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Thalgauegg, 1987.05.17, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. aruncella -genitalia, prep.-no. 780, M. Kurz: Vorarlberg, Bregenzer Wald, near Mellau, trail to Hangspitze, 2004.08.07, leg. Puchmayr & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. sicanella f. obsoleta -genitalia, prep.-no. 948, M. Kurz: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefal¨, 1982.04.17, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen 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. aureoviridella -genitalia, prep.-no. 810, M. Kurz: Eastern Tyrol, Glockner group, Kals, Moar Alm, 1800 - 2000 m, 2002.06.27, leg. Helmut Deutsch, coll. Michael Kurz M. paykullella -genitalia, prep.-no. 811, M. Kurz: Piemonte, province of Cuneo, Bersezio, 1973.07.21, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Michael Kurz M. calthella -genitalia, prep.-no. 961, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Stilles Tal, 1987.05.29, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz 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
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

The typical form of M. sicanella is externally very similar to Micropterix aureoviridella (H÷fner, 1898), as well as Micropterix paykullella (Fabricius, 1794), to which M. sicanella has been assumed to be a form only for a long time. Both species mentioned are allopatric to M. sicanella. M. paykullella can be distinguished by the bronzy golden colouration on the forewing, which does not reach towards the basis at the costa, by the fascia at 1/2, being somewhat smaller than in M. sicanella and by the more intensive purple ground colour. Furthermore, the small costal spot at 2/3 is mostly missing in M. paykulella. Nevertheless, for a proper identification, a genitalia investigation may be necessary.
Micropterix calthella (LinnÚ, 1761) and Micropterix aruncella (Scopoli, 1763) can be distinguished from the unicolourus forms of M. sicanella by the distinct purple colouration at the forewing base, as well as by the mostly darker greenish, brownish or reddish golden ground colour. Nevertheless, also here a genitalia investigation may be necesary. Other unicolorous species, including the unmarked form of M. paykullella, do not occur in Sicily.
In the male genitalia, all mentioned species are readily separable. In the female genitalia, M. aruncella and M. calthella are readily separable by the greater length of their receptaculum seminis, M. aruncella also by the form of sternite IX. Females of M. paykullella and M. aureoviridella on the other hand, are not separable with certainty with respect to the female genitalia only.

Phylogeny: Based on the structure of the male genitalia, M. sicanella forms a complex of closely allied species with the two north African species Micropterix eatoniella Heath, 1986 and Micropterix aureofasciella Heath, 1986. All three species have in common a prominent lobe between acessory claspers and valves, a very long uncus and long, strongly modified and thickened setae on the accessory claspers.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Corley, M. F. V. 2007. A brief review of the Micropterigidae of Portugal, with description of a new species of Micropterix HŘbner. ľ Nota lepidopterologica 30 (1): 71ľ78.
Heath, J. 1963. A new species and a new form of Micropteryx (Lepidoptera Zeugloptera: Micropterygidae); Estratto dalle Memorie del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Verona, Vol.XI: 129 - 132
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. ľ Fauna Europaea version 2.2, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 07 February 2011].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000ľ2011. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. ľ URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 07 February 2011].
Leraut, P. 1980. Liste systematique et synonymique des lÚpidoptŔres de France, Belgique et Corse; Suppl. Alexanor et Bull.Soc.ent.France
Viette, P. 1948. LÚpidoptŔres homoneures; in: Faune de France 49, Paris
Zeller, P. C. 1847. Bemerkungen Řber die auf einer Reise nach Italien und Sicilien beobachteten Schmetterlingsarten. Ś Isis von Oken 1847 (2): 121-159, (3) 213-233, (4) 284-308, (6) 401-457, (7) 481-522, (8) 561-594, (9) 641-673, (10) 721-771, (11) 801-859, (12) 881-914.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2008.12.18
Kurz Michael: 2009.12.18
Kurz Michael: 2010.09.10
Kurz Michael: 2011.01.09
Kurz Michael: 2011.02.07
Kurz Michael: 2011.02.08
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.17
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.18
Kurz Michael: 2012.04.18
not reviewed

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