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 istrianellus (Heydenreich, 1851)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Nematois istrianellus Heydenreich, 1851: 81.
Type locality: None given (Croatia, Istria)
Type: probably lost [Kozlov 2004].

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Adela beyruthella Bruand, 1858: 619. Type locality: None given [Lebanon, Beyrouth]. Junior subjective synonym.
Nemotois cupriacellus var. dalmatinellus Zeller, 1853: 60. Type locality: Croatia, Dalmatia, Spalato. Junior subjective synonym.
Nemotois chlorista Meyrick, 1912b. Type locality: Turkey, Alma Dagh. Junior subjective synonym, synonymized by Kozlov (2004).

Nomenclature: (cited from Kozlov 2004) "Herrich-Schäffer ([1851], plate 33, fig. 232) illustrated a male moth under the name "istrianella". Herrich-Schäffer´s plates carry only specific names, which are not binominal and therefore not available; the descriptive text (on p. 98) did not appear until 1854 (see Hemming 1937: 588 for the publication dates of vol. 5 of Herrich-Schäffer´s work). The name was made available by reference to Herrich-Schäffer´s illustration by Heydenreich (1851: 81, published in combination Nematois [sic!] istrianellus). The type specimen has not been discovered yet, and therefore a neotype will be selected from the NHM collection in accordance with the current use of this name. The junior subjective synonym, N. dalmatinellus, is traditionally ascribed to Mann, with the date 1869 (e. g. Meyrick 1912). However, already Heydenreich (1851) published this name (as "Nematois dalmatinellus Mn.") without description; this name is therefore nomen nudum. Zeller (1853) described "cupriacellus Var. b", indicating on p. 60 that he received the described males from Mann who identified them as N. dalmatinellus. This name should be considered as subspecific according to article 45.6.4 of ICZN (1999) and attributed to Zeller."


Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Duino, San Giovanni di Duino, 65-75 m, 2014.06.21, leg. et coll. Helmut Deutsch      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 2 . Forewing length: 7.3 - 7.5 mm. Head black-brown, vestiture of hair-like scales on the head orange-yellow, distant; face smoothly scaled, brass-coloured, shining; diameter of an eye 0.5 mm, distance of eyes (frontally) 0.7 mm; labial palpi about 0.9 mm long, bowed ahead, black, laterally yellow scaled, with downwardly directed, distant long yellow hair-like scales; antennae in about 1 1/4 of forewing length, basal half thickened by black-violett scales, distal third white; thorax and tegulae bronzy golden shining; forewings narrow; base of costa brass-coloured, shining; basal wing half coppery shining, indistinctly turning to violet in outer wing half; a very indistinct, dark blue-violet cross-fascia distad of 1/2, very broad at costa, narrowing towards inner margin; base of R-stem not darkened; fringe blue at apical costa, otherwise blue-violet shimmering; hindwing dark grey-brown with intensive violet shimmer; fringe bronzy golden at its basis, outwards violet shimmering; underside of all wings dark brown-grey with intensive violet to blueish shimmer, but hindwing apically and posteriorly more bronzy golden; fringe of forewing blue anteriorly, at outer margin bronzy golden at its basis, outwards violet; fringe of hind wing bronzy golden at apex, violet along outer margin; underside of thorax brass-golden to whitish-golden shining; legs bronzy golden, tibiae violet, hind tibiae blueish violet, inflated, with distant, hair-like scales; foretibia without epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of spurs at distal end; hind tibiae with a pair of spurs each at about 0.4 of tibial length and at distal end; abdomen dark brown, slightly bronzy golden shining, in laterally flattend and tapering at apex.


Karsholt & Nieukerken (2011) record the species from Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, furthermore from Spain and Austria. A questionable record for Romania origins from Kovács & Kovács (1999). In Asia, the species is known from Turkey: Bursa and Hatay provinces (Koçak & Kemal 2007, Meyrick 1912a) and from Lebanon (Bruand 1858).


We do not have any data about the biology of N. istrianellus.


Except for Nemophora prodigellus (Zeller, 1853) and Nemophora cupriacella Hübner, 1819, the species is easily separated from all other European species of Nemophora by the absence of an epiphysis at the foretibia. Kozlov (2004) gives the following description to distinguish N. istrianellus from the latter two: "From N. prodigellus it differs in the following characters: forewing without distinct spot at the base of R stem; forewing background dark brown to dark coppery brown; hindwing uniformly brown to dark brown; base of male antenna usually with dense row of semi-erect scales. In the male genitalia, N. istrianellus differs from N. prodigellus by the shape of the valvae, which are widely rounded to almost rectangular apically, with parallel distal halves of their inner borders (consult fig. 85b in Küppers 1980). Females of N. istrianellus differ from females of N. cupriacella auct. in the following characters: fore tibia dorsally bronze to brown, ventrally and sometimes ventrolaterally yellowish white to yellow, with strict border between these two colours; forewing fascia usually distinct; forewing bronze to dark coppery brown."

Worth knowing:


Bruand d´Uzelle, C. Th. 1858. Classification des Tineides et examen des charactères et de leur importance relative, d´après la méthode naturella. Annales de la Société entomologique de France 3 (6): 600-702.
Hemming, F. 1937. Hübner: A bibliographical and systematic account of the entomological works of Jacob Hübner, and of the supplements thereto by Carl Geyer, Gottfried Franz von Frölich and Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer. – Royal Entomological Society of London, London. Vol. 1, xxxiv + 605 pp.; Vol. 2, xi + 274 pp.
Herrich-Schäffer, G. A. W. 1847–1855 ["1853–1855"]. Systematische Bearbeitung der Schmetterlinge von Europa, zugleich als Text, Revision und Supplement zu Jakob Hübner’s Sammlung europäischer Schmetterlinge. 5. Die Schaben und Federmotten: [1]–2–394 + [1]–2–52, 124 + 7 + 1 pl. Regensburg.
Heydenreich, G. H. 1851. Lepidopterorum Europaeorum catalogus methodicus. Systematisches Verzeichniss der Europaeischen Schmetterlinge. J. Klinkhardt, Leipzig. [2] + 131 + [2] pp.
ICZN 1999. International code of zoological nomenclature, adopted by the International Union of Biological Sciences. 4th edn. International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, London. xxix + 306 pp.
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 27 January 2012].
Koçak, A. Ö. & M. Kemal 2007. Synonymical and distributional List of the species of Bursa Province (North West Turkey) (Lepidoptera). Centre for entomological studies Ankara, Priamus 11 (5): 81-111.
Kovács, Z. & Kovács, S. 1999. Familia Adelidae (Lepidoptera) in România. Buletinul informativ al Societatii Lepidopterologice Române. 10 (1-4): 9-65.
Kozlov, M. V. 2004. Annotated checklist of the European species of Nemophora (Adelidae). Nota Lepidopterologica 26: 115-126.
Meyrick, E. 1912a. Adelidae, Micropterygidae, Gracilariadae. – In: H. Wagner (ed.), Lepidopterorum Catalogus, pars 6, Berlin.
Meyrick, E. 1912b. Lepidoptera Heterocera (Tineae). Fam. Adelidae. — Genera Insectorum 133 1-12 + pl. Bruxelles (V. Verteneuil & L. Desmet).
Zeller, P. C. 1853. Sieben Tineaceen-Gattungen. – Linnaea Entomologica 8: 1–87.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2012.01.30
Kurz Michael: 2013.01.14
Kurz Michael: 2016.03.03
Kurz Michael: 2016.03.04
not reviewed