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) alpinella Burmann, 1958

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Eriocrania alpinella Burmann, 1958: 269 - 271
Type locality: Austria, northern Tyrol, Zillertaler Alpen, Vennatal, 1900 m
Type: Holotype : Vennatal, Zillertaler-Alpen, 1900 m, 4.7.1956, leg. Burmann, in coll. TLF, Innsbruck

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


PARATYPE: Northern Tyrol, Tuxer Alps, Vennatal, 2000 m, 1956.07.04, leg. Karl Burmann, coll. Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults:. Examined: 1 [Paratype], amendments following Burmann, 1958. Forewing length: 5.2 mm. Vestiture of hair-like scales on the head long, light ochre, on the frons distant and beige; labial palpi brown, scarcely scaled, beige; eyes small, 0.2 mm in diameter; antennae filiform, about 0.55 of forewing length, bronzy golden, dark purple shining; forewings relatively broad, dull golden with purple markings: An irregular, narrow fascia from the middle of the costal margin to the tornus, branching in the middle inwardly and thus enclosing the bright spot at the inner margin; a small dark purple spot each at the apex and near the apex at the costal margin; a similar dark spot at the basis of the wing, bent outwards, sometimes quite small; the golden colouration is interspersed with fine, dark purple streaks, especially along the veins; at the inner margin, close to the tornus, a big and conspicious, whitish golden spot of triangular shape, reaching nearly across the half wing width; hindwings with broad scales, covering the wing membrane nearly completely; hindwings bronzy golden, apically with a more or less purple tinge; fringe of all wings bronzy golden to coppery, at the apex conspiciously whitish golden; legs brwon, sparsely scaled, ochre; foretibia without epiphysis; middletibia with a pair of spurs at the distal end; hindtibia with a pair of spurs each at 0.65 of the tibial length and at the distal end.


E. alpinella has been found so far in the Alps of Switzerland and Austria, records for Germany are very doubtful (Karsholt 2004). The easternmost findings are from western Salzburg (Huemer pers. comm., Kurz et al. 2009), although doubtful records have been given also for Styria (Huemer & Tarmann 1993). The vertical distribution reaches at least from about 1800 to 2100 m a.s.l.


At the type locality, the imagines were on the wing from end of June to mid July in associations of Alnus alnobetula. The animals fly in full sunshine in the afternoon, mostly very locally around late blossoming specimens of A. alnobetula. Sometimes, they may be roused also in the morning (Burmann, 1958).

Stages in development:

Morphology of preimaginal stages (Heath 1983). Larva. The larva feeds in leaves of Alnus alnobetula in blotch-like mines.


Picture from: © Burmann 1958
Detailed view


Externally, the species can be recognized easily by its more fascia- or spot-like markings on the forewing, whereas most other species of the genus show a more or less reticulate pattern.

Worth knowing:


Burmann, K. 1958. Eriocrania alpinella nov.spec. (Lepidoptera, Eriocraniidae), Zeitschrift der Wiener Entomologischen Gesellschaft 43: 269 - 271
Huemer, P. & G. Tarmann 1993. Die Schmetterlinge Österreichs (Lepidoptera). Innsbruck, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, 224 pp.
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 29 April 2008].
Kurz, M. A., M. E. Kurz & H. C. Zeller-Lukashort 2000–2009. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [visited on May 28, 2009].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2009.05.28
Kurz Michael: 2012.11.04
not reviewed