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 tunbergella (Fabricius, 1787)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Tinea tunbergella Fabricius, 1787: 253
Type locality: Denmark, Funen, Fåborg
Type: Neotype : Alléskov, Faaborg, 7.5.1926; coll. Larsen, genit. no. 842 Kristensen; in coll. ZMUC.

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Tinea thunbergella auct., nec Fabricius, 1794: The identity of the species named tunbergella by Fabricius in 1787 was settled by Heath et al. (1979) who designated a neotype. The name thunbergella (Fabricius, 1794) is a synonym of Caloptilia alchimiella (Scopoli, 1763) (Gracillariidae).
Tinea helwigella Hübner, 1805: pl. 38 fig. 263. Type locality: None given. Junior subjective synonym.
Tinea rubrifasciella Haworth, 1828: 572. Type locality: Kent (Great Britain). Junior subjective synonym
Micropteryx depictella Herrich-Schäffer, 1851: fi g. 7. Type locality: None given. Junior subjective synonym.

Habit:

 
: Macedonia, near Skopje, beginning of the Treska canyon, 1969.04.15, leg. F.Kasy, coll. NHMW : France, Champagne, Poulangy, 2003.05.04, leg. Renate Hausenblas, coll. Christof Zeller : Italy, Triest, 1910.05.01, leg. Wolfschläger, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayerischen Staates, Munich  
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: 9 , 20 . Forewing length: 3,7 - 4,1 mm; 3,9 - 4,9 mm. Head black-brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on the head yellow, rusty yellow at the base of the antennae; antennae light brownish, 3/4 (), respectively, 1/2 () of forewing length; thorax golden; tegulae bronzy golden to purple, posteriorly purple violet; forewing with golden ground colouration and coppery to purple markings: a basal spot, extending from costa across nearly half of the forewing width; at 1/3 an elongated spot, extending from costa across 2/3 of the forewing width; distal of 1/2, a more or less broad fascia extending across the whole forewing width broadly bifurcated and purple violet at the costa, often interrupted in the middle and sometimes also bifurcated at the inner margin; at the posterior third of this fascia, mostly connected with another fascia directed to, but not always reaching the apex, narrow at the junction and spoon-like, apically broadened, sometimes bifurcated; apex and outer margin with bronzy golden to purple scales; fringe bronzy golden, golden distally; hindwing bronzy golden, often with a purple tinge apically; fringe golden, whitish outwards; legs brownish, golden shining; abdomen brownish golden.

Distribution:

According to Heath (1996, 1983) and Karsholt & Nieukerken (2011), the species is distributed across Europe. It has not been recorded so far only from a few countries like Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia and Finland. Kurz & Kurz (2014) also give additional findings for Italy, Bulgaria and Ukraine. The vertical distribution reaches from near sea-level to 1000 m a.s.l. only, although exceptionally, specimens may be found up to 1500 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2014, Klimesch 1990).

Biology:

     
Salzburg, Tennengau, Puch, 2011.04.19      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
     

Following Heath 1983, M. tunbergella mostly inhabits deciduous woodland. The adults feed on pollen of Quercus, Acer and Crataegus as well as on other plants. Sometimes M. tunbergella has been found swarming around tree-tops. The imagines fly in one generation from the end of March till early June, although, on a single occasion, a male has been recorded also from August 1st (Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, leg. Eichler, coll. ZSM, see Kurz & Kurz 2014).

Stages in development:

Egg. According to Heath (1983), the egg has an oval shape, a length of 380–390 µm and a width of 240–250 µm, with up to 100 µm long, rod-like structures. Immediately before hatching, the translucent white colour turns grey. The larva and pupa are unknown.

Anatomy:

, scheme of cuticula -genitalia, prep.-no. 273, M.Kurz: "Herndl; 20.5.1896; Hauder", coll. Oberösterreichische Landessammlung, Linz -genitalia, distal end of phallus, prep.-no. 276, M.Kurz: "F.V.[19]15; Brühl [bei Köln]", coll. Oberösterreichische Landessammlung, Linz -genitalia, prep.-no. 769, M. Kurz: Greece, Thessalia, Olymp, near Lithochoro, on the way to Prionia, 2002.05.02, leg. Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
-genitalia, prep.-no. 773 M.Kurz, Bosnia, Vrbas valley, south of Barevo, 2003.05.04, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep-no. 774, M. Kurz, Salzburg, Tennengau, Salzach valley, Puch, 1990.03.29, coll. Christof Zeller -genitalia, prep.-no. 786 M.Kurz: Macedonia, near Skopje, beginning of the Treska canyon, 1969.04.15, leg. Kasy, coll. Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna , scheme of cuticula
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
-genitalia, prep.-no. 280, M.Kurz: "F. 14/5 1905; Kalkthal; Kyffh[äuser] Geb[irge]", coll. Oberösterreichische Landessammlung, Linz -genitalia, prep.-no. 275, M.Kurz: "LAND SALZBURG 1.6.1956; St.Gilgen; H.AMANSHAUSER LEG", coll. Haus der Natur, Salzburg -genitalia, prep.-no. 772 M.Kurz, preparation in caustic potassium, Greece, Thessalia, Olymp, near Lithochoro, on the way to Prionia, 2002.05.02, leg. Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller -genitalia, prep.-no. 772, M. Kurz, permanent preparation: Greece, Thessalia, Olymp, near Lithochoro, on the way to Prionia, 2002.05.02, leg. Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Genitalia. Uncus stout, in the form of a broad beak; accessory claspers well developed, with pocket-like lobes at the ventral margin, which bear many, relatively long, slightly bent spinoid setae at the anterior part of the ventral margin; a group of shorter thickened setae at the anterior tip; a bunch of long hair-like setae at the posterior part of the accessory claspers; at the anterior margin of the accessory claspers a long, lobe-like appendix on both sides extending beyond the uncus ventrally with long, hair-like setae; valvae long, very slender, upwardly bent, slightly enlarged at the tip; on the inner surface two irregular rows of shorter spinoid setae anteriorly and some setae postbasally, as well as long hair-like setae medially.

Genitalia. Tergite IX completely atrophied, leaving only a small remnant with a patch of setae, sternite IX typically reduced, 1/3 of the width of the other sclerites in the middle, laterally enlarged into a lobe and with indistinct border. Terminal papillae typically sclerotized; ductus receptaculi enlarged at the beginning of the receptaculum seminis and strongly bent; receptaculum seminis long and narrow, somewhat enlarged in the second half, with a longer, thin appendix at the end.

Diagnosis:

M. tunbergella, : France, Champagne, Poulangy, 2003.05.04, leg. Renate Hausenblas, coll. Christof Zeller M. masuetella : Bavaria, Oberbayern, Wolfratshausen, Königsdorfer Moor, 2002.05.10, leg. Grünewald, coll. Grünewald M. kardamylensis, : Greece, Peloponnesos, Taygetos, Langada canyon, 1999.05.26, leg. Puchmayr & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz Micropterix sp. (zagoriensis) , PARATYPE: Greece, Epirus, near Monodendri, 2002.05.09, leg. et coll. Christof Zeller
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Micropterix sp. (kerberella) , PARATYPE: Greece, Epirus, Acheron, Gliki, 2002.05.14, leg. et coll. Christof Zeller M. tunbergella -genitalia, prep.-no. 769, M. Kurz: Greece, Thessalia, Olymp, near Lithochoro, on the way to Prionia, 2002.05.02, leg. Christof 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. kardamylensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 883, M. Kurz: Greece, Peloponnesos, near Kalamata, 2005.05.02, leg. Zeller & Embacher, coll. Christof Zeller
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Micropterix sp. (zagoriensis) -genitalia, prep.-no. 768, M. Kurz: Greece, Epirus, near Monodendri, 2002.05.09, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller Micropterix species (kerberella -genitalia, prep.-no. 767, M. Kurz: Greece, Epirus, Acheron, Gliki, 2002.05.14, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. tunbergella -genitalia, prep.-no. 772, M. Kurz: Greece, Thessalia, Olymp, near Lithochoro, on the way to Prionia, 2002.05.02, leg. Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. mansuetella -genitalia, prep.-no. 760, M. Kurz: without data, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   
M. kardamylensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 941, M. Kurz: Greece, Peloponnesos, between Kalamata and Kambos, 2005.05.03, leg. Zeller & Embacher, coll. Christof Zeller Micropterix sp. (zagoriensis) -genitalia, prep.-no. 770, M. Kurz: Greece, Epirus, near Monodendri, 2002.05.09, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   

M. tunbergella is normally readily recognizeable within most of its distribution range. It may sometimes be confused with Micropterix mansuetella Zeller, 1844, although the small golden costal spot at 2/3 distinguishes M. tunbergella at once from that species. Also quite similar is Micropterix kardamylensis Rebel, 1903 (from Peloponnesos, Greece), especially the females, but it has no golden costal spot at 2/3 too (the outer purple fascia is not bifurcated). From Greece, we know of a yet undescribed species, which is nearly indistinguishable externally from M. tunbergella.
In the male genitalia, all mentioned species are very distinct and easily recognizeable, but a second undescribed species from Greece is very similar to M. tunbergella. The former is distinguished mainly by the shape of the small lobe between uncus and accessory claspers, which is less prominent in M. tunbergella. Furthermore, this species is also different externally, having more purplish parts in the forewing than golden ones.
In the female genitalia, M. mansuetella has a completely sclerotized segment IX ring, all others miss a sclerotization of tergite IX. M. kardamylensis lacks the medial enlargement of the sclerotization of the terminal papillae, whereas the first undescribed Greek species is indistinguishable from M. tunbergella in the female genitalia. From the second undescribed Greek species, we do not yet know females at all.

Phylogeny: M. tunbergella is regarded to be a basic member of a large subgroup in the genus Micropterix Hübner, 1825. Apomorphies of this group are assumed to be: 1) lobes between uncus and accessory claspers in male genitalia atrophied and mostly absent 2) valves mostly long and slender 3) thickened setae on accessory claspers often strongly modified, Y-, T- or sickle-shaped (Kurz et al. unpublished manuscript).

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Heath, J., N.P. Kristensen & E. Schmidt Nielsen (1979): On the identity of Tinea tunbergella Fabricius, 1787 and Tinea thunbergella Fabricius, 1794 (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae, Gracillariidae); Ent.scand. 10, p. 9 - 12
Heath, J. (1983): The moths and butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol.I: Micropterigidae - Heliozelidae, Harley Books, Martins, Great Horkesley, Colchester, Essex
Heath, J. in Karsholt, O & J. Razowski (1996): The Lepidoptera of Europa. A distributional checklist, Apollo-Books, Stenstrup.
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2011. Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.4, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 17 May 2011].
Klimesch, J. 1990. Microlepidoptera (Kleinschmetterlinge) I. - In: Kusdas, K. & E. R. Reichl. Die Schmetterlinge Oberösterreichs. Teil 6. Im Auftrag der Entomlogischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft am OÖ. Landesmuseum zu Linz, 332 pp.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2014. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 9 January 2014].
Kurz, M. A., M. E. Kurz & H. C. Zeller-Lukashort. Morphological characters as indicators for a hypothetical arrangement of species in the genus Micropterix Hübner, 1825. Unpublished manuscript.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2006.03.21
Zeller Christof: 2006.11.18
Kurz Michael: 2008.11.06
Kurz Marion: 2008.11.14
Kurz Michael: 2011.05.17
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.15
Kurz Michael: 2012.04.08
Kurz Michael: 2012.04.11
Kurz Michael: 2012.04.18
Kurz Michael: 2012.05.13
Kurz Michael: 2014.01.09
Kurz Michael: 2014.02.16
not reviewed

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