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

Nemophora congruella (Zeller, 1839)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Adela congruella Zeller, 1839: 187
Type locality: Czech Republic, Bohemia, Reichstadt
Type: probably in coll. BMNH

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:

Taxonomic note: "For a long time Fischer von Röslerstamm was considered as the author of this species (e. g. Meyrick 1912; Zaguljaev 1978; Küppers 1980); however, the pages of his book (Fischer von Röslerstamm 1834–[1843]) with descriptions of Adelidae were published in 1840, and they contain reference to Zeller (1839), who is the author. Duponchel [1839] published the description of N. congruella the same year but later than Zeller (see Joannis 1922 for the publication dates). No synonyms were discovered so far." (Kozlov 2004, see also anonymous 2011).


: Salzburg, Untersberg area, Grödig, Fürstenbrunn, 1966.06.06      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 . Head dark brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dark yellow; face smoothly scaled, coppery shining; diameter of eyes about 0.3 mm; eyes black; distance of eyes (frontally) nearly three times the diamter of an eye; labial palpi short, 0.35 mm long, light yellow, somewhat distantly scaled, with single long, light coloured, hair-like scales; basal segment of antennae strongly inflated; antennae about 1 1/4 () of forewing length, smoothly scaled, without basal beard of distant scales, dark brown with purple shimmer from base to about 2/3 of their length, silvery white distad; thorax and tegulae bronzy golden shining, tegulae purple distad; forewing with a nearly straight, 3-segmented cross fascia across the whole wing width at about 2/3 of forewing length; the broad central segment of the fascia yellow, the lateral segments nearly as broad, strongly violet lead-gray shining, delicately bordered black; the basal part of the wing with lead-gray, strongly blueish-violet shining, longitudinal stripes at costa, at stem of cubitalis and at analis 1, delicately bordered black, the two anteriormost stripes reaching the medial fascia; the area between these stripes yellow with a strong black, branched, longitudinal line between costa and stem of cubitalis and an unbranched, thin black longitudinal line between stem of cubitalis and analis 1; inner margin violet lead-gray shining; apical part of wing dark brown, partly bronzy golden shining, with yellow longitudinal stripes along the veins, which end far before the outer margin; fringe bronzy golden; hindwings with broad scales, completely covering the wing membrane, brown-gray with stronge violet tinge and a broad, ill-defined white stripe along the anterior margin; outer and inner margin indistinctly bronzy golden; fringe bronzy golden; underside of wings umber brown with bronzy golden glance, only the cross-fascia of the forewing indistinctly yellow; anterior margin of hindwing delicately yellow too; legs brown, laterally partly strongly yellowish-golden shining; foretibia with a long epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of spurs at the distal end; hindtibia inflated, with a pair of spurs each at about 2/3 of the tibial length and at the distal end, as well as with several long, hair-like scales; abdomen dark brown, bronzy golden shining.


Following Karsholt & Nieukerken (2010), the species is distributed throughout central Europe, in parts of the Balkans (Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania), as well as in the eastern part of European Russia. The species is not known from Siberia (Dubatolov 2009). With one exception (525 m a.s.l.), vertical records are not available (Kurz & Kurz 2011).


The imagines live in mountain regions in open mixed decidous and coniferous woods. The imagines are on the wing from early May till June (Küppers 1980, Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Stages in development:

Larva. Following Werner (1958), the larva has a length of 12 mm and is yellowish; head, thoracic and anal plate shining brown, thoracic plate cleft; seta II on mesothorax equally afar from I and IIIa; group VII of setae on abdominal segment III: VIIa longest, VIIb shortest; VIIb slightly dorsally to VIIa, VIIc far apart and ventrally from VIIa. Schütze (1931) records the bag as strongly arched and coated with needles of spruce or fir trees in cross-section. Mann (following Zeller 1853) has found the bags on the ground among Festuca ovina. Pupation takes splace in spring.


N. congruella is very similar to Nemophora degeerella (Linné, 1758), but slightly smaller, the light forewing markings being bright yellow instead of partly leather-brown. Of the three violet longitudinal stripes with lead-like glance in the basal part of the wing, also the central one reaches the cross-fascia. The cross-fascia is more straight and less irregular than in N. degeerella. The lateral, violet lead-grey parts of the forewing fascia are nearly as broad as the central yellow part in N. congruella, whereas in N. degeerella, these lateral parts are distinctly narrower. The beard-like, distant scales in the proximal part of the antennae are missing in the female of N. congruella. Also quite similar in general appearance to N. congruella is Adela croesella (Scopoli, 1763). The latter is distinctly smaller, with better contrasting, purple-violet markings in the outer part of the wing. The cross-fascia is situated at about 1/2 of the forewing length, whereas in N. congruella, this fascia is at about 2/3. Furthermore, very similar externally are Nemophora amatella (Staudinger, 1892) and Nemophora bellela (Walker, 1863), but both species are distributed allopatrically to N. congruella in the northernmost parts of Eurasia only.

Worth knowing:


anonymous 2011. Butterflies & Moths of the World Generic Names and their Type-species. Bibliographic record.- available at: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/jdsml/research-curation/research/projects/butmoth/ReferencesDetails.dsml?BIBLIO.REF_ID=1819.0&AUTHOR=Fischer+von+Röslerstamm&AUTHOR=Fischer+von+Röslerstamm&AUTHORqtype=starts+with&beginIndex=1&listPageURL=ReferenceList%2edsml%3fAUTHOR%3dFischer%2bvon%2bRöslerstamm%26AUTHORqtype%3dstarts%2bwith&searchPageURL=SearchBibliography%2edsml%3fAUTHOR%3dFischer%2bvon%2bRöslerstamm%26AUTHORqtype%3dstarts%2bwith.
Dubatolov, V. V. 2009. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum: Adelidae. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Incurvar.htm [online 26 April 2010].
Fischer von Röslerstamm, J. E. 1841. Abbildungen zur Berichtigung und Ergänzung der Schmetterlingskunde, besonders der Microlepidopterologie als Supplement zu Treitschke´s und Hübner´s europaeischen Schmetterlingen, mit erläuterndem Text. Leipzig, 15: 1-304.
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 28 January 2011].
Kozlov, M. V. 2004. Annotated checklist of the European species of Nemophora (Adelidae). Nota Lepidopterologica 26: 115-126.
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 2000–2011. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 28 January 2011].
Schütze, K. T. 1931. Die Biologie der Kleinschmetterlinge unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer Nährpflanzen und Erscheinungszeiten. Frankfurt a. Main, 235 pp., 1 fig.
Werner, K. 1958. Die Larvalsystematik einiger Kleinschmetterlingsfamilien. Abhandlungen zur Larvalsystematik der Insekten. Nr. 2, Berlin. 145 pp.
Zeller, P. C. 1839. Versuch einer naturgemäßen Eintheilung der Schaben. – Isis, Leipzig [32]: 167–219. - available at Biodiversity Heritage Library (http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/13244029).
Zeller, P. C. 1853. Sieben Tinaceengattungen (Schluß): Adela Latr. Nemotois Hübn. - Linneana Entomologica 8: 1-87.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2011.02.01
Kurz Michael: 2011.03.09
not reviewed