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

Nematopogon pilella ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Tinea pilella [Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775: 142.
Type locality: Austria, near Vienna
Type: destroyed in the Hofburg fire in 1848 (anonymous 2009b)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Capillaria pilea Haworth, 828: 522. Unjustified emendation of Tinea pilella [Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775).
Nemophora minutella Snellen, 1884: 151. Type locality: Siberia, Amur. Junior subjective synonym.
Nemophora submetallica Caradja, 1920: 173. Type locality: Siberia, Amur, Kazakevicha. Junior subjective synonym.
Nemophora pilella var. flavicomella Müller-Rutz, 1927. Type locality: Switzerland, Tessin, Laghetto, Astano. Junior subjective synonym.


: SCG, Vojvodina, Banat, Deliblatska Pescara, 2005.05.05, leg. Kurz Michael, Laslo Horvat, Vesna Habijan-Mikes, Oldja Marius, coll. Michael Kurz : Salzburg, Flachgau, Hallwang, Söllheim, 1965.07.07, leg. Fritz Mairhuber, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults:
Examined: 2 , 2 . Forewing length: 7.1 - 8.5 mm, 6.5 - 8.0 mm.

: Head dark-brown, vestiture of hair-like scales on the head distant, beige; diameter of eyes about 0.4 mm; antennae about 2-times the forewing length, filiform; scapus inflated, flagellum whitish-golden, shining; thorax and tegulae light grey-brown, sometimes weakly bronzy golden shining; forewings unicolorous, grey-brown to dark grey-brown, bronzy golden shining, with very indistinct brownish reticulation and brown discoidal spot; costal margin slightly darker than the ground colour; fringe bronzy golden shining; hindwings with hair-like scales, not completely covering the wing membrane, but scaling quite densely distally; hindwings hyaline grey with weak golden glance and violet shimmer; fringe bronzy golden to whitish golden; underside with hair-like scales only, bronzy golden shining, unicolorous except for a light yellowish spot at the discus of the forewing; legs beige to brownish, intensively bronzy golden to coppery shining; foretibia with epiphysis, midtibia with a pair of spurs at the distal end; hindtibia inflated, somewhat flattened laterally, with a comb of long, downwardly directed, hair-like scales and a pair of spurs each at about 0.7 of the tibial length and at the distal end.

: Head brown, vestiture of hair-like scales on the head distant, dark yellow, frons somewhat lighter; eyes like in the ; proboscis densely and distantly scaled in the anterior and lateral parts, scaling light yellow; antennae about 1 1/2 of forewing length, scapus inflated, yellow, flagellum silvery-white, slightly golden shining; thorax and tegulae dark yellow anteriorly, lighter in the posterior part; forewings light brownish, intensively bronzy golden shining, with very indistinct, brownish discoidal spot; basally of the tornus a nearly obsolete, light yellowish spot at the inner margin, extending into the fringe; fringe bronzy golden, distal half darker, brownish; hindwings, legs and underside similar to the male.


Except for the Iberian peninsula, the western Balkans and the east and south-east of European Russia, the species has been reported throughout Europe (Karsholt und Nieukerken 2004). Kurz & Horvat (2010) have recorded the species for Serbia for the first time. Following Nielsen (1985), N. pilella is distributed also in the Amur region, but not in Japan (see also anonymous 2009a). The vertical distribution has been documented so far only from 120 - 540 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2010).


The species has been found in dry, steppe-like bushland, but seems to inhabit also flood-plains (Kurz & Kurz 2010). The imagines are on the wing from May to July.

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.

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.
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2004. Adelidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 1.1, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 11 June 2008].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2010. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 18 May 2010].
Kurz, M. A. & L. Horvat 2010. New and interesting Lepidoptera from the Balkans (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro). Mitteilungen aus dem Haus der Natur. in press
Nielsen, E. S. 1985. A taxonomic review of the adelid genus Nematopogon Zeller (Lepidoptera: Incurvarioidea). Entomologia Scandinavica supplement no. 25: 66 pp.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2010.05.19
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.20
Kurz Michael: 2015.08.06
Kurz Michael: 2019.01.23
not reviewed