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 swammerdamella (Linné, 1758)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Phalaena (Tinea) swammerdamella Linnaeus, 1758: 540.
Type locality: Sweden
Type: Lectotype : [Europe], in coll. Linnean collections at the Linnean society, London (pictures)

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Capillaria swammerdami Haworth, 1828: 522. unjustified emendation.
Nemophora reaumurella Peyerimhoff, 1870: 66. Type locality: France, Provence, Hyeres. Junior subjectice synonym.
Adela schwammerdamella Bruand, 1850: 67. misspelling.


: Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Kaprun, Lärchwand, 1965.07.24, leg. Fritz Mairhuber, coll. Michael Kurz : Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, 1987.05.17, leg. Zeller & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz : Salzburg, Flachgau, Kasern, 1989.04.25, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults:: Examined: 22 , 8 . Forewing length: 9.0 - 10.3 mm, 8.7 - 9.5 mm. Head brown; neck and collare distantly scaled, dark yellow; face somewhat distantly scaled, whitish beige to beige; eyes semi-globular, about 0.6 mm in diameter (), respectively, 0.5 mm in diameter (); maxillary palpi very long, 5-segmented, folded, distantly scaled whitish beige to beige; labial palpi diverging ahead, their lenght only about half the diameter of an eye (0.35 mm), like base of proboscis distantly scaled, whitish beige to beige; scapus inflated, yellowish, dark yellow in the upper part; antennae about 2 (), respectively, 1 2/3 () of forewing length, filiform, basal third whitish beige to golden, distal part light golden to bronzy golden; thorax ochreous, dark yellow anteriorly, bronzy golden shining; tegulae dark yellow; forewings light golden with slight silvery-grey shimmer to dark golden yellow; venation somewhat darker, especially in the distal part; in the distal third very delicate, irregular cross-lines, somewhat darker than the ground colour, thus giving the impression of a very faint reticulation; fringe golden, sometimes slightly darker distally; hindwings with hair-like scales, not completely covering the wing membrane, only the distal third with broader scales; hindwings whitish golden with weak, nacre-like glance, venation somewhat darker; fringe whitish-golden, golden along the costal margin; underside similar to the upperside, but with hair-like scales also in the forewing, being more scarcely and brownish; reticulation missing; legs smoothly scaled, golden brown; foretibia with a short epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of long spurs at the distal end; hindtibia inflated, with a tuft of long, yellowish, hair-like scales and a pair of long spurs each at about 0.65 - 0.7 of the tibial length and at the distal end; abdomen golden brown shining, somewhat flattened laterally in the .


Karsholt (2010) reports the species from the greater part of Europe, except for parts of eastern Europe, the southern Balkans, the Iberian peninsula and the large Mediterranean islands. Vertically, the species has been found at least from the lowland level up to 1800 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2010).


Salzburg, Flachgau, Eugendorf, Sophiensiedlung, 2003.05.08 Styria, Grazer Bucht Ost, Grazer Feld, Enzelsdorf, 2004.05.31 Styria, Grazer Bucht Ost, Grazer Feld, Enzelsdorf, 2004.05.31  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view

N. swammerdamella inhabits deciduous woods, mixed woods of beech, spruce and fir, but also clearings and edges of woodland, adjacent tall herb vegetation and woodland on high moors. Gardens and parks with sufficient woods are inhabited too. The imagines are on the wing from the end of April till July, in one generation per year. The are day-active and may also be attracted by light at night.


Among European species, N. swammerdamella is the biggest one of the genus, being characterized by mostly golden yellow colouration and very weak or even missing reticulation. Nematopogon schwarziellus Zeller, 1839 is slightly smaller, with more elongate wings and a more greyish golden colouration of the forewings.

Worth knowing:


Karsholt, O. 2010. Families Acanthopteroctetidae, Axiidae, Castniidae, Cossidae, Drepanidae, Eriocottidae, Eriocraniidae, Gelechiidae, Heterogynidae, Limacodidae, Lypusidae, Micropterigidae, Roeslerstammiidae, Somabrachyidae, Uraniidae. In: Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.2, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 18 June 2010].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2010. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 18 June 2010].
Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. L. Salvius, Holmiae: i-ii + 1-824.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2005.09.03
Kurz Michael: 2010.06.18
Kurz Michael: 2020.08.01
not reviewed