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 metaxella (Hübner, [1813])

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Tinea metaxella Hübner, [1813]: pl. 61, fig. 413.
Type locality: None given (Europe)
Type: probably destroyed (Nielsen 1985)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


: Salzburg, Tennengau, Golling, Bluntau valley, 1997.06.21, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 7 , 1 . Forewing length: 7.2 - 8.2 mm, 8.4 mm. Head brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on the head distant, yellow, face distantly scaled, white; eyes about 0.4 mm in diameter, dark grey; maxillary palpi long, 5-segmented, basal part directed ahead, distal part bow-like bent downwards, with distant, whitish scales; labial palpi also with distant, whitish scales, bow-like directed ahead, their length about 3/4 of the diameter of an eye; proboscis scarcely, but distantly scaled, whitish; antennae almost 3-times (), respectively, 2-times () of forewing length, simple, shining white to whitish-golden; thorax light yellow with slight golden shimmer; tegulae also light yellow, brownish anteriorly; forewings comparatively broad, dark golden yellow, sometimes with a greyish tinge; more or less distinctly reticulated by brownish veins and fine, indistinct, brownish, irregular cross-lines; a relatively broad, but indistinct, yellowish-brown cross-bar at the discus; costal margin more or less distinctly violet-brown in a delicate line; slightly basally of the tornus, a very weak, light yellowish spot at the inner margin; fringe yellowish basally, brownish-grey with intensive golden glance distally; hindwings with broad scales, nearly completely covering the wing membrane, light yellowish-grey, with light yellow outer margin and whitish-golden shimmer; fringe yellowish basally, brown-grey with whitish-golden shimmer distally; underside of forewings brownish yellow, of hindwings grey with intensive, light, golden glance; fringe like at the upperside; forelegs inwardly and dorsally brown, outwardly and ventrally golden yellow like mid- and hindlegs; foretibia with epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of long spurs at the distal end; hindtibia inflated, somewhat lighter, with a tuft of long, hair-like scales and a pair of spurs each at about 0.65 of the tibial length and at the distal end; abdomen brown to dark brown, greyish-golden shining.


The species is distributed throughout Europe except the Iberian and the Balkan peninsula. Records are missing also from Belarus, the southern part of European Russia and from the big Mediterranean islands (Karsholt & Nieukerken, 2004). N. metaxella has been reported by Dubatolov (2009) from the west Siberian plain, but is absent from Japan (Nielsen 1985, anonymous 2009a). Regarding vertical distribution, available data are scarce. Nevertheless, the species seems to occur at least from the lowlands to the mountainous range (Kurz & Kurz 2010).


Salzburg, Tennengau, Salzach valley, Hallein, Rif, 2001.06.12      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

N. metaxella inhabits diversified clearings and edges of woodland, especially under moist conditions. It therefore can often be found also at the edges of woodland on high moors. The imagines are day-active and are on the wing from late April to early June.


N. metaxellus is one of the smaller golden species of the genus and can normally be recognized by the relatively broad wings with well developed reticulation and distinct discal spot, combined with a clear white face.

Worth knowing:


anonymous 2009a. An Identification Guide of Japanese Moths Compiled by Everyone. URL: http://www.jpmoth.org [online 26 April 2010].
Dubatolov, V. V. 2009. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum: Adelidae. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Incurvar.htm [online 26 April 2010].
Hübner, J. 1796–1836 ["1796"] a. Sammlung europäischer Schmetterlinge. Horde 8. Tineae-Schaben: [1]–[12]+13–70+[71]–[78], pls 2–71. Augsburg. Continued by C. Geyer.
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 02 June 2010].
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: 2006.01.22
Kurz Michael: 2010.06.02
Kurz Michael: 2019.02.06
not reviewed