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

Antispila metallella ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Tinea metallella [Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775: 144.
Type locality: Austria, vicinity of Vienna
Type: destroyed in the Hofburg fire in 1848 (anonymous 2009b)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Tinea pfeifferella Hübner [1813]: pl. 59, fig. 392. Primary Homonym of Tinea pfeifferella Hübner, [1813]: pl. 63, fig. 422. (see Nielsen 1985).
Antispila stadtmuellerella Hübner, [1825]. Objective replacement name for Tinea pfeifferella Hübner, [1813] and junior subjective synonym of Tinea metallella [Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775.


: Salzburg, Thalgau, 11.7.1994 e.l. 29.4.1994, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz : Salzburg, Flachgau, Kasern, 1994.06.28 e.l. 1995.05.01, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 , 1 . Forewing length: 4.0 mm, 3.2 mm. Head smoothly scaled, brown-grey, bronzy golden shining; labial palpi directed downwards, 0.3-0.4 mm long, colouration alike; eyes small, black-brown; antennae in both sexes about 3/5 of forewing length, filiform, grey-brown, distal margins of segments with a smooth, dark brown ring of scales; thorax and tegulae brown-grey, bronzy golden shining; forewings dark brown with intensive bronzy golden glance and silvery white markings: a somewhat irregular, distally bulged, narrow, at costa and inner margin widened cross-fascia across the whole wing width; at 1/2 a triangular spot at inner margin, its tip reaching across nearly half of the wing width; at 2/3 a broad triangular spot at costa, its tip also reaching across nearly half of the wing width; fringe bronzy golden, whitish outwards; hindwings light grey with purple violet shimmer; fringe light brown-grey, bronzy golden shining; underside grey-brown with intensive coppery glance; fringe light ochreous at its basis, especially in the range of the upperside spot at inner margin, otherwise brown-grey, bronzy golden shining; underside of thorax and legs bronzy golden; foretibia with epiphysis (?); midtibia with a pair of short spurs; hindtibia flattened dorso-ventrally, with a pair of spurs each at about 0.4 of tibial length and at distal end; hindtarsi distally with light ring of scales; abdomen brown-grey, bronzy golden shining.


The species has been recorded from central and NW-Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic states and eastwards to Romania, Ukraine and European Russia (Karsholt & Nieukerken 2013). East of the Ural mountains, no records are known so far (anonymous 2009a, Dubatolov 2015) and the species also seems to be absent from Turkey (Koçak & Kemal 2009). Regarding vertical distribution, only few data are known, showing a range from near sea level to at least 600 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2015).


Biotopes are shruberies in moist conditions and edges of deciduous woods with the occurence of Cornus-species, the foodplants of the larvae. The imagines are on the wing in May, larvae habe been found in their mines from June till early August. Regarding larval foodplants, Cornus sanguinea seems to be preferred (Kurz & Kurz 2015). Fulfed, the larvae cut out an oval case from the leaf and fall to the ground, where they overwinter.

Stages in development:

When leaving the mine, the larva cuts out an oval hole: Salzburg, Flachgau, Eugendorf, Pebering, 2003.06.23 Mine on Cornus sanguinea hungarica: Salzburg, city of Salzburg, Heuberg, 2015.06.28, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view


A. metallella is the distinctly largest species of the genus in central Europe. Characteristic are the blotch mines on Cornus-species. These mines start from the egg shell with a short corridor, which immediately widens to a blotch. In contrast to Antispila treitschkiella (Fischer von Röslerstamm, 1843), there are some tiny bowlike slits immediately before the place, where the egg has been laid, looking as if the female first wanted to try some "practice slits". The oval hole, which is left in the leaf after excising the case is distinctly larger than in A. treitschkiella furthermore.

Worth knowing:


anonymous 2009a. An Identification Guide of Japanese Moths Compiled by Everyone. URL: http://www.jpmoth.org [online 26 April 2010].
anonymous 2009b. Das Naturhistorische Museum Wien. Forschung. 2. Zoologische Abteilung (Entomologie). Geschichte. URL: http://http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/Content.Node/forschung/2zoo/geschichte.html [online 15 September 2009].
Denis, M. & I. Schiffermüller 1775. Ankündigung eines systematischen Werkes von den Schmetterlingen der Wienergegend, herausgegeben von einigen Lehrern am K.K. Theresianum. Augustin Bernardi, Wien. 322 pp.
Dubatolov, V. V. 2015. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Incurvar.htm [online 13 April 2015].
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2013. Heliozelidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.6.2, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 2015.04.13].
Koçak, A. Ö. & M. Kemal 2009. Revised Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Turkey. Priamus, supplement 17: 1-253.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2015. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 13 April 2015].
Nielsen, E. S. 1985. A taxonomic review of the adelid genus Nematopogon Zeller (Lepidoptera: Incurvarioidea). Entomologica Scandinavica Supplement 25: 1-66.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2012.10.07
Kurz Michael: 2015.04.14
Kurz Michael: 2015.04.20
Kurz Michael: 2015.10.29
not reviewed