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 calthella (Linné, 1761)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Phalaena (Tinea) calthella Linnaeus, 1761: 367
Type locality: Sweden
Type: Lectotype : "calthella", "calthella 895"; "LECTOTYPE; Ph. Tin. calthella Linn.; teste G.S. Robinson, 1982"; in coll. LSUK

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Tinea urticella Costa, 1834: 10-11, pl. 2 figs 1a–c. Type locality: Camaldoli (Capodimonte, Napoli, Italy). Junior subjective synonym
Eriocephala sulcatella Bentley, 1845: 1086–1087. Type locality: London (Great Britain). Junior subjective synonym.
Micropteryx silesiaca Toll, 1942: 171. Type locality: Ustron (Poland). Junior subjective synonym.

Marsh Marygold Moth, Small gold Tinea
Dotterblumen-Schabe

Habit:

 
: Salzburg, Flachgau, Wallersee, Seekirchen, Weng am Wallersee, 1990.05.01, coll. Michael Kurz : France, Champagne, Poulangy, 2003.05.04, leg. Renate Hausenblas, coll. Christof Zeller : Tuscany, Pisa district, near Laura, Lorenzana, 1995.05.07, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
 

Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults. Examined: 13 , 43 . Forewing length: 3.1 - 3.7 mm; 3.6 - 4.6 mm. Head black-brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dirty white to rusty yellow; antennae brown, golden shining, with reddish tinge, 4/5 (), respectively, nearly 3/5 () of forewing length; thorax bronzy golden to coppery, posteriorly sometimes purple mixed; tegulae coppery to bluish violet; forewing bronzy golden, brownish golden to slightly greenish golden, usually without any markings; the basal area from costa to inner margin, more or less extended, purple to purplish violet, sometimes with single bluish scales; ground colour occasionally intensely tinged purple or with rudiments of vague purple markings present; these consist of a costal spot near 1/4 and a similar spot at 2/3, the latter extending almost across the whole width of the wing; fringe light bronzy golden to whitish golden, sometimes with a purple tinge; hindwing light bronzy golden, sometimes more or less purplish at the apex; fringe light bronzy golden, brighter at the distal margin, sometimes with a purple tinge; legs and abdomen brown, golden shining, sometimes slightly purplish.

Distribution:

According to Heath (1983) and Karsholt (2010), the species is distributed across Europe to central Siberia (see also Dubatolov 2009). M. calthella has not been recorded from Iceland, the Iberian Peninsula, southern Balkans and from the Mediterranean islands (Heath 1996). Vertically, records have been documented from near sea level up to 1100 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2013).

Biology:

Typical biotops are tall herb vegetation mixed with Ranunculus at moist wood or bushland margins: Salzburg, Osterhorn group, St. Gilgen, near Fürberg, 2004.06.06 Salzburg, Osterhorn group, Strobl, Blinklingmoos, 2004.05.30 Salzburg, Osterhorn group, Strobl, Blinklingmoos, 2004.05.30 The moths feed gregariously on flowers of Ranunculus: Salzburg, Osterhorn group, Strobl, Blinklingmoos, 2004.05.30
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Salzburg, Osterhorn group, Strobl, Blinklingmoos, 2004.05.30 Often also pollen of grasses are eaten: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, 2004.05.30 Styria, Grazer Bucht east, near Leibnitz, Gralla, forest meadow, 2001.05.05 Styria, Grazer Bucht east, Grazer Feld, Enzelsdorf, 2004.05.11
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
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Styria, Grazer Bucht east, Grazer Feld, Enzelsdorf, 2004.05.11 Styria, Grazer Bucht east, Grazer Feld, Enzelsdorf, 2004.05.15 Styria, Grazer Bucht east, Grazer Feld, Enzelsdorf, 2004.05.15 Salzburg, Flachgau, Köstendorf, Tannberg, from the summit to the Lassbergweg, 2005.05.15
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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The copula often last only a few seconds: Salzburg, Flachgau, Köstendorf, Tannberg, from the summit to the Lassbergweg, 2005.05.15 The same moths: Salzburg, Flachgau, Köstendorf, Tannberg, from the summit to the Lassbergweg, 2005.05.15    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. calthella inhabits moist but not saturated locations such as marshy areas, forest tracks and outskirts of the forest. The adults feed on easily accessible pollen of a wide variety of different herbaceous plants (such as Ajuga, Cardamine, Mercurialis) and even occasionally trees (Crataegus, Acer), but they strongly favour sedges (Carex spp.), kingcup (Caltha palustris) and buttercups (Ranunculus spp. (Zeller et al. 2007), e.g. R. acris or R. lanuginosus). Once, the species has even been found on Taraxacum officinale agg. (Kurz & Kurz 2013). The flight time of the imagines ranges normally from Mid April to early June (Kurz & Kurz 2013).

Stages in development:

According to Heath (1983), the egg has an oval shape, a length of 450–480 µm and a width of 350–370 µm, with up to 60 µm long, rod-like structures. Immediately before hatching, the translucent white colour is turns to grey. Chauvin & Chauvin (1980) also describe the egg.

The larva (see also general description of the genus) is described by Martinova (1950) and Hamon & Chauvin (1995).

The pupa rests in a compact cocoon. More about the pupa can be found in Lorenz (1961) and Hamon & Chauvin (1995).

Anatomy:

, scheme of cuticula -genitalia, prep.-no. 251, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Thalgauegg, 1987.05.17, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz -Genitalia, prep.-no. 387, M.Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Thalgauegg, location 8/120, 1987.05.17, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz -Genitalia, prep.-no. 251, M.Kurz: "n.Kalkvoralpen; Thalgau/Sbg. 8/120; 860 m; an Blüte von Taraxacum officinale (gesellig)", "17.5.1987; 10.30 - 12.30 h; leg. Zeller/Kurz", coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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, scheme of cuticula -genitalia, preparation in caustic potash, prep.-no. 961, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Stilles Tal, 1987.05.29, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, permanent preparation, prep.-no. 961, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Stilles Tal, 1987.05.29, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz -Genitalia, prep.-no. 268, M.Kurz: "Fürstenbrunn; 28.5.1970; Salzburg; Mairhuber", coll.Haus der Natur, Salzburg
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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-Genitalia, receptaculum seminis in higher magnification, prep.-no. 268, M.Kurz: "Fürstenbrunn; 28.5.1970; Salzburg; Mairhuber", coll. Haus der Natur, Salzburg Scheme of copulation    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Philpott 1927, modified
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Genitalia. Uncus moderately long and slender; ventrally beyond the uncus a tuft of long hair-like setae; accessory claspers well developed, nearly trapezoid; their rounded anterior margin with a row of seven or eight very short, thickened setae of spoon-like to spatulate shape; at the lower apex of the anterior margin a row of three similar but longer, straight thickened setae, which are partly hook-shaped at their ends; valvae moderately long, distinctly constricted medially, the distal fourth spatulately enlarged, bent upwards; at their inner surface postbasally two or three shorter, straight spinoid setae; the distal fourth at the inner surface with two to four irregular rows of moderately long to very short, straight spinoid setae.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing; sternite IX much reduced, moderately sclerotized, sometimes with indistinct margins, but of relatively characteristic shape. Segment X (terminal papillae) with sclerotized band; ductus receptaculi very thin; receptaculum seminis long and slender, at the beginning slightly thickened, the first half straight, very slender, without transverse striation; the second half enlarged into a curved, elongate sac with somewhat irregular transverse striation; a thin appendix at the end.

Diagnosis:

M. calthella : Tuscany, Pisa district, near Laura, Lorenzana, 1995.05.07, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. isobasella : Valais, Zwischbergental, 1650 m, 2002.07.23, leg. Renate Hausenblas und Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. sicanella f. obsoleta : Sicilia, northern coast, Cefalù, 1982.04.17, leg. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. paykullella (form without markings): France, Alpes Maritimes, Marguareis, 2000.07.22, leg. Renate Hausenblas and Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. garganoensis : Puglia, Gargano, Monte Sant´Angelo, 1993.05.22, leg. HZK, coll. Michael Kurz M. aruncella : Austria, Salzburg, Thalgau, 1989.05.18, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz M. mansuetella : Bavaria, Oberbayern, Wolfratshausen, Königsdorfer Moor, 2002.05.10, leg. Grünewald, coll. Grünewald M. calthella -genitalia, prep.-no. 251, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Thalgauegg, 1987.05.17, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. isobasella -genitalia, prep.no. 805, M. Kurz: Valais, Zwischbergental, 1650 m 2002.07.23, leg. Renatae Hausenblas, Christof Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz M. sicanella -genitalia, prep.-no. 949, M. Kurz: Sicilia, Taormina, 1971.04.10, leg. Kusdas Karl, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. paykullella (form without markings), -genitalia, prep.-no. 741, M. Kurz: France, Alpes Maritimes, Marguareis, 2000.07.22, leg. Hausenblas und Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz M. garganoensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 674, M. Kurz: Puglia, Gargano, Monte Sant´ Angelo, 1993.05.22, leg. HZK, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. aruncella -genitalia, prep.-no. 201, C. Zeller: Lombardia, Bergamo, Morbegno, 2003.07.06, leg. Hausenblas & Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. mansuetella -genitalia, prep.-no. 788, M. Kurz: Bavaria, Oberpfalz, Regensburg, Bodenwöhr, 2003.05.18, leg. Renate Hausenblas, Christof Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz M. calthella -genitalia, prep.-no. 961, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Stilles Tal, 1987.05.29, leg. Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. isobasella -genitalia, prep.-no. 806, M. Kurz: Valais, Zwischbergental, 1650 m, 2002.07.23, leg. Renate Hausenblas, Christof, Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: © Zeller Christof
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. sicanella f. obsoleta -genitalia, prep.-no. 948, M. Kurz: Sicilia, northern coast, Cefalù, 1982.04.17, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. paykullella -genitalia, prep.-no. 811, M. Kurz: Piemonte, province of Cuneo, Bersezio, 1973.07.21, leg. J. Klimesch, coll. Michael Kurz M. garganoensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 1027, M. Kurz: Puglia, Gargano, Monte Sant´Angelo, 1993.05.22, leg. H/Z/K, coll. Michael Kurz M. aruncella -genitalia, prep.-no. 809, M. Kurz: Slovenia, Karst, Wippach valley, Nanos, 600 m, 1998.05.25, leg. Helmut Deutsch, coll. Michael Kurz
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. mansuetella -genitalia, prep.-no. 760, M. Kurz: without data, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
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M. calthella may be confused with other unicolorous golden species without markings like Micropterix isobasella Staudinger, 1871, unmarked forms of Micropterix sicanella Zeller, 1847 and Micropterix paykullella (Fabricius, 1794), Micropterix garganoensis Heath, 1960 and the female of Micropterix aruncella (Scopoli, 1763). From these, M. calthella is separated mostly by its darker (more greenish or brownish) bronzy golden ground colouration, as well as by its distinct purple colouration of the forewing base, reaching from costa to the inner margin. Micropterix mansuetella Zeller, 1844 with indistinct markings also may be very similar, but is readily distinguished by its black scales on the head. M. calthella is absent from North Africa and the central and southern Balkans, therefore unicolorous golden species in these areas cannot be mistaken for that species.

In the male genitalia, M. calthella is well characterized, being clearly different from all other mentioned species, and shows no closer relationship to any other Micropterix-species so far investigated.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Bentley, W. 1845. Description of Eriocephla sulcatella, a small new British moth of the family Tineidae. – The Zoologist: A Popular Miscellany of Natural History 3: 1086–1087.
Chauvin, J. T. & G. Chauvin 1980. Formation des reliefs externes de l’oeuf de Micropteryx calthella L. (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae). – Canadian Journal of Zoology 58: 161–766.
Costa O.-G. 1834 ["1832–1836"]. Lepidotteri. – In: O. G. Costa & A. Costa [eds], Fauna del regno di Napoli ossia enumerazione di tutti gli animali che abitano le diverse regioni di questo regno e le acque che le bagnano contenénto la descrizione de nuovi o poco esattamente conosciuti. – Napoli (Dai Torchi del Trameter): pp. [1]–[314], pls 1–14.
Dubatolov, V. V. 2009. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum: Micropterigidae. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Hepial.htm [online 13 October 2010].
Hamon, C. & G. Chauvin 1995. Larval integument amd its differentiations in Micropterix calthella L. (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae): Anatomy and ultrastructure. – International Journal of Insect Morphology and Embryology 24: 213–222.
Heath, J. 1983. The moths and butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol.I: Micropterigidae – Heliozelidae. – Harley Books, Martins, Great Horkesley, Colchester, Essex.
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 1.1, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 13 October 2010].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2013. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 07 November 2013].
Linnaeus, C. 1761. Fauna Suecica (2nd Edition). – Stockholm. 578 pp.
Lorenz, R. E. 1961. Biologie und Morphologie von Micropterix calthella (L.) (Lep. Micropterygidae). – Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 8 (I/II): 1–23.
Martinova, E. F. 1950. On the structure of the larvae of Micropteryx (Lepidoptera, Micropterygidae). – Entomologicheskoye Obozreniye 31: 142–150 [In Russian].
Philpott, A. 1927. Notes on the female genitalia in the Micropterygoidea. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London, 75: 319-323, pl. XXVII.
Toll, S. 1942. Neue Microlepidopteren. – Zeitschrift der Wiener Entomologischen Gesellschaft 27:166–173, pl.
Zeller-Lukashort, H. C., M. E. Kurz, D. C. Lees & M. A. Kurz 2007: A review of Micropterix Hübner, 1825 from northern and central Europe (Micropterigidae); Nota lepidopterologica 30 (2): 235 – 298.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2006.02.18
Zeller Christof: 2006.11.27
Kurz Michael: 2008.10.30
Kurz Michael: 2010.04.06
Kurz Michael: 2010.10.13
Kurz Michael: 2011.11.22
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.17
Kurz Michael: 2012.04.18
Kurz Michael: 2012.07.17
Kurz Michael: 2013.10.28
Kurz Michael: 2013.11.07
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2013.11.07
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2013.11.07

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