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 berytella de Joannis, 1886

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropteryx berytella de Joannis, 1886: 183, pl. 6, fig. 5
Type locality: Lebanon, Beirut
Type: Syntype: in coll. MNHN

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
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Habit:

   
: without data : Lebanon, Beirut, 1961.03.10, leg. Vartian, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: © Zeller et al. 2009
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   

Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults: Examined: 19 , 5 . Forewing length: 2.7–3.5 mm; 2.9–3.6 mm. Head black-brown, vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dirty white to yellow; antennae dark brown, bronzy golden shining, 3/4 (), respectively, slightly more than 1/2 () of forewing length; thorax bronzy golden, posteriorly with single purple scales; tegulae whitish golden to golden, posteriorly with purple scales; forewings bronzy golden to coppery, reddish golden along costa and outer margin, with silvery white markings: A narrow fascia across the whole wing width at 1/5; a narrow, outwardly bent, sometimes interrupted fascia across the whole wing width at nearly 1/2; sometimes a small costal spot at 2/3; at 3/4 a narrow fascia across the whole wing width, broadening from costa onwards, interrupted beyond middle; a very narrow, slightly inwardly oblique fascia reaching from costa to the outer margin (this fourth fascia sometimes missing); fringe bronzy golden, whitish outwards; hindwings bronzy golden with purplish tinge and bronzy golden, outwards brighter fringe; legs and abdomen dark brown, bright golden shining.

Distribution:

Following Zeller et al. (2009), the species is known from Lebanon (Ghazir, Aley and near Beirut), as well as from Israel (northern Israel and Mount Carmel; see also de Joannis 1886, 1888; Kurz et al. 2010; Heath, unpublished manuscript). Vertically, records from 80 - 180 m a.s.l. have been documented (Kurz et al. 2010).

Biology:

Biotope of M. berytella Israel, Mount Carmel, Ramat Hanadiv, 2005.01 Israel, Mount Carmel, Ramat Hanadiv, 2005.01: M. berytella pollinating Cyclamen persicum Israel, Mount Carmel, Ramat Hanadiv, 2005.01
Picture from: © Zeller et al. 2009
Detailed view
Picture from: © Schwartz-Tzachor Rachel
Detailed view
Picture from: © Schwartz-Tzachor Rachel
Detailed view
Picture from: © Schwartz-Tzachor Rachel
Detailed view

According to de Joannis (1888), the specimens investigated by him were found on bushes. The species inhabits the Mediterranean forest types "garrigue" and "batha", occurring sometimes syntopically with M. elegans (Zeller et al. 2009). Frequent visits of M. berytella and M. elegans to the underneath of Cyclamen persicum flowers have been observated. It has been found that the moths appeared to eat pollen grains from the flowers, to mate on them, and to take shelter inside the flowers from rain and on cold nights. Schwartz-Tzachor (1998) tested the pollination efficiency of both Micropterix species on C. persicum and found that the moths successfully pollinated the flowers and significantly raised the percentage of fruit set. In addition, the moths appeared approximately three weeks after the beginning of flowering in the synanthous C. persicum population, and accompanied the flowering throughout the season (Schwartz-Tzachor et al. 2006). M. berytella has also been found feeding on Cistus salviifolius (Zeller et al. 2009). In general, the adults appear between January and April.

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.

Anatomy:

, cuticule scheme -genitalia, prep.-no. 816, M. Kurz: Without data -genitalia, prep.-no. 529, M. Kurz: "10.III.1961; Beirut; Libanon; Vartian leg.", coll. NHMW, Vienna -genitalia, prep.-no. 529, M. Kurz, aedoeagus in higher magnification: "10.III.1961; Beirut; Libanon; Vartian leg.", coll. NHMW, Vienna
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
 
-genitalia, preparation in caustic potash, prep.-no. 965, M. Kurz: Libanon, Beirut, 1961.03.10, leg. Vartian, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, permanent preparation, prep.-no. 965, M. Kurz: Libanon, Beirut, 1961.03.10, leg. Vartian, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, receptaculum seminis in higher magnification, prep.-no. 965, M. Kurz: Libanon, Beirut, 1961.03.10, leg. Vartian, coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
 

Genitalia. Uncus moderately long and slender, with a spatulate tip; accessory claspers sledge-shaped and relatively large, weakly sclerotized with about 10 moderately long and straight, stout and thickened setae at the ventral margin; additionally, beyond the accessory claspers two club-shaped lobes with only one fairly long, stout and thickened seta; valvae moderately long, slender, distinctly constricted beyond middle; their distal third spoon-like enlarged and distinctly bent upwards; valve postbasally with three fairly long and stout setae at the inner surface; distal third with one or two rows of shorter, stout and thickened setae, as well as some fine, longer setae.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing; sternite IX much reduced, weakly sclerotized, with indistinct margins; segment X with band-like sclerotization, consisting of two broader platelets, not diagnostic; receptaculum seminis moderately long, slightly inflated in proximal half, with distinct striation.

Diagnosis:

M. berytella-: Lebanon, Beirut, 1961.03.10, leg. Vartian, coll. Michael Kurz M. elegans Stainton, 1876 : Israel, near Jerusalem En Hemed, 1998.05.01, leg. Renate Hausenblas, coll. Christof Zeller M. cypriensis Heath, 1985 : Cyprus, near Paphos, 1995.03.26 - 1995.04.02, leg. Josef Wimmer, coll. Christof Zeller M. berytella -genitalia, prep.-no. 816, M. Kurz: Without data
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. elegans, -genitalia, prep.-no. 776, M. Kurz: Israel, Mount Carmel, Ramat Hanadiv, 2001.02.12, leg. Schwartz-Tzachor Racheli, coll. Michael Kurz M. cypriensis Heath, 1985 -genitalia, prep.-no. 675, M.Kurz: Cyprus, near Paphos, 1995, leg. J. Wimmer, coll. Michael Kurz M. berytella -genitalia, prep.-no. 965, M. Kurz: Libanon, Beirut, 1961.03.10, leg. Vartian, coll. Michael Kurz M. elegans -genitalia, prep.-no. 964, M. Kurz: Israel, Mount Carmel, Ramat Hanadiv, 2001.02.12, leg. Schwartz-Tzachor Racheli, leg. 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. cypriensis, -genitalia, prep.-no. 672, M. Kurz: Cyprus, near Paphos, 1995, leg. J.Wimmer, coll. Michael Kurz      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
     

Micropterix cypriensis Heath, 1985 has a similar wing pattern, but is distributed allopatrically, being endemic to Cyprus. Since the fourth fascia in the outermost part of the forewing is often missing, M. berytella with interrupted fascia at 1/2 can easily be confused with Micropterix elegans (Stainton, 1867). M. berytella usually exhibits a fine, elongated fascia at 1/2, and therefore the vestiges of this fascia are more elongated and finer than those of M. elegans, which has more rounded spots at 1/2. For reliable identification, genitalic examination is needed in those cases. The -genitalia are very characteristic and differentiate M. berytella clearly from both other species.

Phylogeny: Based on the male genitalia, M. berytella, M. elegans and M. cypriensis form a well defined group of closely related species. Characteristic for this group are not only the more or less enlarged accessory claspers with reduction of strongly modified setae, but especially the additional, partly folded lobes between accessory claspers and valves, which, in contrast to a group of relatives around Micropterix sicanella Zeller, 1847, bear also modified setae.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

de Joannis, J. 1886. Séance du 24 novembre 1886. – Bulletin des séances et bulletin bibliographique de la Société Entomologique de France: 183–184.
de Joannis, J. 1888. Lépidoptères nouveaux. – Annales de la Société Entomologique de France: 274.
Kurz, M. A., M. E. Kurz & H. C. Zeller-Lukashort 2000–2010. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 18 March 2010].
Schwartz-Tzachor, R. 1998. Pollination and seed production in two populations of Cyclamen persicum. MSc. Thesis at Tel Aviv University (in Hebrew).
Schwartz-Tzachor, R., A. Dafni, S. G. Potts & D. Eisikowitsch 2006. An ancient pollinator of a contemporary plant (Cyclamen persicum): when pollination syndromes break down? – Flora 201: 370–373.
Zeller-Lukashort, H. C., M. A. Kurz, D. C. Lees & R. Schwartz-Tzachor 2009. Micropterix of Cyprus and the Middle East (Micropterigidae). Nota lepidopterologica 32 (2): 129-138.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2006.02.03
Kurz Michael: 2006.03.14
Zeller Christof: 2008.02.29
Zeller Christof: 2008.11.26
Kurz Michael: 2008.11.26
Kurz Michael: 2008.11.27
Kurz Michael: 2010.03.18
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.28
Kurz Michael: 2012.05.05
Kurz Michael: 2012.05.07
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2012.07.10
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2012.07.10

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