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

Cauchas leucocerella (Scopoli, 1763)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Phalaena leucocerella Scopoli, 1763: 255.
Type locality: Slovenia, Carniola
Type: Lost or destroyed in coll. IEUP (Evenhuis 1997).

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Adela bimaculella Fischer von Röslerstamm, 1839: 193, pl. 68, fig. 2. Type locality: Austria, near Vienna. Type: None designated. Junior subjective synonym.
Cauchas conformella Zeller, 1839: 186. Type locality: Unknown. Type: , without data, in NHM, London ?. Junior subjective synonym.


: Lower Austria, Marchfeld, Oberweiden, Sandberg, 2009.05.03, leg. Michael Kurz, Marion Kurz & Erich Hübl, coll. Michael Kurz      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 . Forewing length: 4.4 mm. Head brown; face with black, frons and upper head with dark yellow, distant, hair-like scales; eyes semiglobular, slightly ovoid, about 0.4 mm in diameter; distance of eyes (frontally) slightly more than diameter of an eye; maxillary palpi missing; labial palpi about 0.6 mm long, hanging, slightly divergent; basal segments with adpressed, yellow scales, ventrally with a long, distant, black duft of hair-like scales; distal segment long, with adpressed dark brown scales; antennae about 1 1/4 () of forewing length, filiform, dark brown with golden shimmer, distal third whitish; thorax and tegulae greenish bronzy golden shining, distad of tegulae a long, dark brown duft of hair-like scales on each side; forewings markedly narrow, with parallel costal and inner margin, on upperside shining greenish bronzy golden, along costa diffusely reddish; at 3/5 on inner margin a big, white, fascia-like spot across 3/4 of wing width; at 3/4 on costal margin a white, bean-like spot across 1/4 of wing width, sometimes reduced or completely missing; fringe equal to ground color; hindwings also narrow, lanceolate, tapering apically, completely covered by scales; in , hindwing whitish, basis, margins and fringe greenisch bronzy golden shining; underside similar to upperside, less glossy, on forewing with scattered white scales distally to white spot on inner margin; legs dark brown, bronzy golden shining; foretibia with epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of long spurs; hindtibia inflated, with long duft of hair-like scales and a pair of spures each at about 0.55 of tibial length and at distal end; abdomen dark brown, greenish bronzy golden shining.


The species has been reported from most parts of central, south-eastern and eastern Europe (Karsholt & Nieukerken 2010). The vertical distribution has been documented from about 150 - 1000 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2013).


Lower Austria, Marchfeld, Oberweiden, Sandberg, 2009.05.03 Lower Austria, Marchfeld, Oberweiden, Sandberg, 2009.05.03    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

The imagines have been found on semi-arid meadows in May, where they have singly been feeding nectar on blossoms of Veronica prostrata in full sunshine (Kurz & Kurz 2013). Following Küppers (1980), C. leucocerella may also be associated with Cauchas fibulella ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775), gregariously feeding on Veronica chamaedrys. Imagines are on the wing in one generation per year in May and June (Kurz & Kurz 2013).


C. leucocerella : Lower Austria, Marchfeld, Oberweiden, Sandberg, 2009.05.03, leg. Michael Kurz, Marion Kurz & Erich Hübl, coll. Michael Kurz C. fibulella : Salzburg, Nockberge, Lungau, from the Katschberg to the Aineck summit, 1700 m, 1994.07.12, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Externally, C. leucocerella is very similar to Cauchas fibulella ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775), being sometimes associated with that species. In C. leucocerella, the incomplete median fascia is mostly better developed and more contrasting. Somewhat distal of this fascia, often a distinct yellowish-white costal spot is developed. A light, indistinct spot at 1/4, which may often be found in C. fibulella is missing in C. leucocerella (if ever ?). The vestiture of hair-like scales on the head is black in both sexes of C. fibulella, whereas in C. leucocerella it is conspiciously orange in and mixed yellowish-orange with black in . The hindwings are uniformly brownish in C. fibulella, whereas in C. leucocerella they become distinctly lighter towards the base.

Worth knowing:


Evenhuis N. L. 1997. Litteratura taxonomica dipterorum. (1758–1930). – 2 vols. 871 pp. Leiden Backhuys.
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2010. Adelidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.2., http://www.faunaeur.org [online 13 July 2010].
Küppers, P.V. 1980. Untersuchungen zur Taxonomie und Phylogenie der Westpaläarktischen Adelinae (Lepidoptera: Adelidae), Dissertation, Wissenschaftliche Beiträge Karlsruhe, Verlag M.Wahl, Karlsruhe
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2013. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 13 November 2013].
Scopoli, J. A. 1763. Entomologica Carniolica exhibens Insecta Carnioliae Indigena et Distributa in Ordines, Genera, Varietates. Methodo Linnaeana. – Vindobona, 421 pp, 43 pls.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2010.01.06
Kurz Michael: 2010.07.13
Kurz Michael: 2013.11.13
Kurz Michael: 2014.02.16
Kurz Michael: 2020.08.03
not reviewed