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 algeriella (Ragonot, 1889)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Eriocephala algeriella Ragonot, 1889: 107
Type locality: Algeria, Hammam-Rhira.
Type: Syntypes: 2 , 2 : Hammam-Rhira, V.1888 (genitalia preparations P. Viette no. 85 and J. Heath no. 212); in coll. MNHN, Paris

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


: Algeria, Philippeville (Skikda), 1890.04.13, leg. Meyrick E., coll. NHM, London      
Picture from: © Zeller Christof
Detailed view

Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults: Examined: Descriptions by Ragonot (1889) and Heath (1986). Forewing length: 2.8 - 3.5 mm, 3.6 - 4.4. mm. Vestiture of hair-like scales on the head yellowish; antennae golden fuscous; thorax bronzy golden, tegulae purple; forewings mainly olive-green, with some purple tinge to deep purplish bronze, with pale golden wing markings: At 1/3 a straight to slightly curved, fairly broad fascia across the whole wing width; a fairly broad, somewhat curved fascia, medially attenuated with a tendency to divide; at 3/4 a large median spot, reaching costa but not outer margin; cilia bronzy, distally whitish; hindwing deep purplish bronze; cilia bronzy; abdomen golden fuscous.


The species is known only from Algeria (Heath 1986).


Nothing is known about the biology of M. algeriella. The adults have been found swarming in April and early May (Heath 1986).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.


Picture from: © Heath 1986, modified
Detailed view

Genitalia. "Uncus long and very slender, club-shaped; accessory clasper with a row of seven fairly long and six very long, stout marginal setae, the last three being pendunculate, an inner diagonal row of eight stout, pointed setae and a basal group of short, stout setae; between uncus and accessory clasper a lobe bearing many very fine hairs and a serrate process. Clasper straight and acutely spatulate with a large group of fairly short, stout setae on inner surface of distal end and two rows of five short, stout postbasal setae on inner surface." (Heath 1986).


M. algeriella can be distinguished from similar species, especially Micropterix aureopennella Heath, 1986 and Micropterix purpureopennella Heath, 1986, with certainty only by examination of the male genitalia, which are very distinctive. Female genitalia have not been investigated so far.

Phylogeny: The male genitalia in the drawing by Heath (1986), show some overall similarity to those of Micropterix calthella (Linné, 1761). If this similarity reflects a closer relationship however, is unknown.

Worth knowing:


Heath, J. 1986. The Micropterigid fauna of north Africa (Lepidoptera, Zeugloptera). Entomologist´s Gazette 37:17-32, 126
Ragonot M. E.-L. 1889. [Les descriptions qui suivent de diverses espèces nouvelles de Microlépidoptères de France et d´ Algérie]. Bulletin des séances de la Société entomologique de France: 105-107.

Publication data:

Kurz Marion: 2009.10.15
Kurz Michael: 2010.10.19
Kurz Michael: 2010.11.09
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.09
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.29
Kurz Michael: 2012.07.13
Kurz Michael: 2012.07.18
Kurz Michael: 2012.11.07
Kurz Michael: 2013.05.30
not reviewed