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

Eriocrania (Eriocrania) salopiella (Stainton, 1854)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropteryx salopiella Stainton, 1854: 44,
Type locality: England, Shropshire, near Shrewsbury
Type: Syntype(s): England, Shropshire, near Shrewsbury, April 1853, leg. Salt, probably in coll. NHM, London

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Eriocrania sangii sensu Razowski (1975) and Zagulajev (1978): Missidentification


: Austria, Upper Austria, Mühlviertel, Niederwaldkirchen, 680m, 2009.04.05, leg. et coll. Christof Zeller : Sweden, Hjärsas, UTM 33V VC5435, 1973.05.07, leg. Ingvar Svensson, coll. Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum    
Picture from: © Zeller Christof
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: (following Heath, 1983). Forewing length: appr. 5 mm. Vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dense, distant, brownish, mixed golden; antennae brownish, 1/2 of forewing length; thorax densely covered with hair-like scales, dorsally golden; tegulae dull golden; forewings relatively short and broad, golden with intense purple markings in the form of irregular cross fasciae and spots with interspersed shining blue scales; venation purple; a distinct, nearly triangle-shaped, light yellowish spot at the tornus, reaching across half of the wing width; an indistinct, light costal spot opposite to the tornal spot; fringe bronzy golden, whitish ochre at the position of the tornal spot; hindwings brownish grey, purple tinged distally.


The species has been reported from the British Isles, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Fennoscandia, the Czech Republic, Latvia and the northern part of European Russia (Karsholt, 2004). It is locally distributed and occurs in the northern parts of the central European countries only.


The imagines of E. salopiella are on the wing from late April till May. They fly in full sunshine in populations of Birch (Heath, 1983).

Stages in development:

Morphology of preimaginal stages (Heath 1983).

Egg. The egg is laid on a leave of birch (Betula sp.).

Larva. The larva is greenish white with a light brown head. The anterior margin of the second thoracic tergite is brownish too. The larva lives in May and June in a blotch-like mine in a leave of birch. The mine starts as a gallery near the midrib and leads to a great blotch.

Pupa. The pupa rests in the ground in a tough silken cocoon.


-genitalia, schematic      
Picture from: Pierce & Metcalfe (1935) aus Burmann (1958)
Detailed view


Picture from: Pierce & Metcalfe (1935) aus Burmann (1958)
Detailed view
Picture from: © Zagulayev 1978
Detailed view

Quite similar in wing markings is Eriocrania sparrmannella (Bosc, 1791), although this species is less intensively purple coloured. Other similar purple species of the genus normally have either more elongate forewings or narrow, lanceolate scales near the discus of the hindwing, which do not completely cover the wing membrane. E. salopiella has broad scales on the hindwing, which completely cover the wing membrane. Nevertheless, for proper identification a genitalia examination is advisable.

Worth knowing:


Heath, J. 1983. The moths and butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol.I: Micropterigidae – Heliozelidae. – Harley Books, Martins, Great Horkesley, Colchester, Essex.
Karsholt, O. 2004. Families Acanthopteroctetidae, Axiidae, Castniidae, Cossidae, Drepanidae, Eriocottidae, Eriocraniidae, Gelechiidae, Heterogynidae, Limacodidae, Lypusidae, Micropterigidae, Roeslerstammiidae, Somabrachyidae, Uraniidae. In: Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 1.1, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 22 April 2008].
Razowski, J. 1975. Motyle (Lepidoptera) Polski. 1 - Czesc II - Homoneura. Monografie Fauny Polski 5: 95 pp., 4 pls.
Stainton, H. T. 1854. Insecta Britannica. Lepidoptera: Tineina. I-VIII + 1-313 + pl. 1-10. London.
Zagulajev, A.K. 1978. Eriocraniidae; in G.S. Medvedev (ed.): Keys to the insects of the europaean part of the USSR, Vol.IV: Lepidoptera, part 1 (english translation), Oxonian Press Pvt.Ltd., New Dehli, 1987

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2009.06.04
Kurz Michael: 2012.10.31
Kurz Michael: 2012.11.04
Kurz Michael: 2012.11.22
Kurz Michael: 2019.08.22
Kurz Michael: 2020.05.05
not reviewed