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 metallica (Poda, 1761)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Phalaena Tinea metallica Poda, 1761: 94
Type locality: Greece
Type: Not designated.

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Phalaena scabiosella Scopoli, 1763: 250. Locus typicus: Carniola. Type: Lost or destroyed in coll. IEUP (Evenhuis 1997). Junior subjective synonym.
Phalaena viridella Hübner, [1801]: pl. 19, fig. 128. Locus typicus: Europe. Type: Not designated. Homonym of Phalaena viridella Scopoli, 1763 (= Adela reaumurella (Linné, 1758)).
Adela frischella Curtis, 1839: pl. 463. Locus typicus: Great Britain. Type: Not designated. Junior subjective synonym.
Nemotois aerosellus Zeller, 1850: 140. Locus typicus: Italy, Apennin. Type: in coll. BMNH. Junior subjective synonym.
Nemotois rebelellus Turati, 1924: 186. Locus typicus: Cyrenaika, Merg (El Garib, El Gathar). Type: Probably destroyed in coll. Turati. Junior subjective synonym.

Habit:

 
: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, 1986.07.04, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz : Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, Thalgauegg, 1988.06.26, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz : Spain, Gerona, Vidreras, 1993.06.10, leg. Josef Wimmer, 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: 16 , 8 . Forewing length: 7.7 - 9.1 mm; 8.6 - 9.1 mm. Head dark brown, vestiture of hair-like scales on the head rusty yellow; face smoothly scaled, metallic greenish-silver to light golden shining; eyes much enlarged in , about 0.9 mm in diameter, oval, nearly in contact parietally, light grey; in , diameter of eyes about 0.7 mm, not enlarged, light brown to light grey; distance of eyes (frontally) nearly equal to their diameter; labial palpi about 1.2 mm long, directed ahead and slightly bent upwards, with scarce, distant hair-like scales of yellow colour on the inner side, dark brown outwards and with thin, pointed terminal segment; proboscis densly yellow scaled at basis; antennae about 2-times the forewing length in , at the basis with dense brush of erect scales, scapus enlarged; proximal 2/5 of their length bronzy golden with purplish tinge, distal 3/5 silvery white, smoothly scaled; in , antennae about 1 1/4 of forewing length, scapus also enlarged, basal third of the smoothly scaled flagellum brown with purple shimmer, distal part silvery white; antennae without brush of erect scales at basis; thorax bronzy golden, with single purple scales proximally and with distally directed, long hair-like scales in ; tegulae bronzy golden; forewings pointed at apex, yellowish brown with intensive bronzy golden glance; wing margins ambiguously dark brown, narrow at base, broad postdiscally, with bronzy golden glance except for the costa, where the margin is purple; an indistinct, elongate discoidal streak dark brown too, bronzy golden shining; fringe dark brown, bronzy golden shining; hindwings with broad scales, completely covering the wing membrane, dark brown, anterior margin with an ambiguous, broad silvery white streak; inner margin intensively bronzy golden shining, rest of the wing area with coppery to purplish tinge; fringe consisting of two rows of scales, dark brown, the shorter scales with purple shimmer, the longer ones bronzy golden shining; underside of wings dark brown, coppery to violet shining, with bronzy golden glance at basis and apically, devoid of any markings; thorax laterally with whitish golden, metallic glance; legs brown, bronzy golden to coppery shining, laterally or inwardly also with withish golden, metallic glance; foretibia with short epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of spurs at the distal end; hindtibia inflated, ligth beige, with scarce duft of fine long hair-like scales and a pair of spurs each at the distal end and at about 0.55 of the tibial length; abdomen dark brown, in flattened laterally, dorsally coppery to purple shining, ventrally bronzy golden to whitish golden.

Variability: Some specimens, especially in Mediterranean habitats show a deep violet shimmer with significantly darker ground colour of the forewings. In these, the vestiture of hair-like scales on the head may be dimmed to dark brown too (see also Küppers 1980). Nevertheless, such animals may be found throughout the whole range of the species, with all intermediates.

Distribution:

The species is widely distributed throughout the western palaearctic region, although it seems to be absent from the large Mediterranean islands, Iceland, Ireland and Portugal. Records are also missing from some eastern European areas (Karsholt & Nieukerken 2011, Koçak & Kemal 2009, Küppers 1980). So far, there are no records from Siberia (Dubatolov 2009). The vertical distribution has been documented from the lowlands to over 1600 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Biology:

Styria, Mittelst.B., Umg.Rein, Heiggerkogel Umgebung, 2000.06.01 Styria, Mittelst.B., Umg.Rein, Heiggerkogel Umgebung, 2000.06.01 Styria, Mittelst.B., Umg.Rein, Heiggerkogel Umgebung, 2000.06.01 Burgenland, vicinity of Lockenhaus, 2004.06.30
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Styria, Grazer Bucht Ost, Grazer Feld, Enzelsdorf, 2004.07.18 Styria, Totes Gebirge, Tauplitz, Tauplitz-Alm, Steirersee, 2004.08.16 : Marche, Ascoli Piceno, Monti Sibillini, Forca Canapine, 1500 m, 2005.06.22 Austria, Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, 2001.06.13
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

The species inhabits dry as well as wet poor meadows and poor grassy patches along rivers and roads, where the foodplants of the larvae grow. The latter are species of Knautia or Scabiosa. On the blossoms of these plants, the imagines can also be found nectaring in full sunshine, often gregarious. Flight time is from June to August (Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Stages in development:

Description of early stages following Küppers (1980).

Egg. The eggs are laid in the flowerheads of Knautia arvensis, Scabiosa columbaria and maybe also Centaurea nigra.

Larva. Full grown, the larva has a length of about 14 mm. It is yellowish-white, the head and the sclerites on the thorax and the end of the abdomen being blackish-brown. When young, it feeds in the flowerheads, later on the seeds and finally drops down to the ground. There it builds a flat bag of plant detritus, in which it also overwinters. In spring, it feeds on fresh as well as rotten leafes of the foodplants close to the ground.

Pupa. Pupation takes place in the bag. Prior to hatching of the imago, the pupa winds out itself of the bag up to about half its length.

Diagnosis:

The species is well characterized by its size, the forewings with dark wing margins, otherwise being devoid of markings. These characters, in combination with the long antennae and the feeding behaviour on blossoms of Knautia- and Scabiosa-species, makes N. metallica unmistakeable.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Dubatolov, V. V. 2009. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum: Adelidae. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Incurvar.htm [online 26 April 2010].
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2011. Adelidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.4., http://www.faunaeur.org [online 18 November 2011].
Koçak, A. Ö. & M. Kemal 2009. Revised Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Turkey. Priamus, supplement 17: 1-253.
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 18 November 2011].
Poda, N. 1761. Insecta Musei Graecensis, quae in ordines, genera et species juxta systema naturae Caroli Linnaei. Graz (Widmanstadius). 12+127+12 pp.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2011.09.13
Kurz Michael: 2011.11.25
Kurz Michael: 2013.11.14
not reviewed

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