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Micropterix maschukella Alphéraky, 1876

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropteryx maschukella Alphéraky, 1876: 31.
Type locality: Caucasus, Armenia
Type: Unknown

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Micropterix maritimella Zagulajev, 1983: 117, fig. 13. Locus typicus: Georgia, Abchasia, Gantiadi. Synonymy suggested by Kozlov (1994). Junior subjective synonym.
Micropterix obliquella Heath. Unavailable manuscript name. Nomen nudum.

Habit:

: Georgia, Abchasia, near Suchumi, military road near Lata, 1974.06.10, leg. Eichler, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich : Georgia, Abchasia, near Suchumi, military road near Lata, 1974.06.10, leg. Eichler, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich : Russia, Caucasus, Teberda-Turba, 1972.07, leg. Eichler, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich : Russia, Caucasus, Teberda-Turba, 1972.07, leg. Eichler, 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

Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults: Examined: 8 , 25 Forewing length: 3.3 - 3.8 mm, 3.5 - 4.4 mm. Head black-brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dirty white to rusty yellow; antennae brown, coppery shining, nearly 3/4 (), respectively, 1/2 () of forewing length; thorax coppery to bronzy golden, distally often purple mixed bluish; tegulae deep purple, distally with single bluish scales; forewings purple violet with light golden wing base to reddish golden, purplish along costa with lighter apex and outer margin; inner margin bronzy golden from basis towards medial fascia; a bronzy golden, moderately broad and ill defined fascia at nearly 1/4; other markings whitish golden to golden, more or less diffuse bordered: At nearly 1/2 a small to broad fascia across the whole wing width, straight but inwardly oblique towards the inner margin and sometimes fused with the fascia at 1/4; sometimes a small, but distinct costal spot at 2/3; at 3/4 a heart-like to oval, often big spot, sometimes reaching costa, but seldom the inner margin; fringe bronzy golden, whitisch outwards; hindwings bronzy to coppery, intensively tinged purple; fringe bronzy golden to whitish golden, partly tinged purple; legs and abdomen brown, golden shining.

Remarks. M. maschukella is a most variable species regarding the intensity of the purple ground colour as well as width and distinctiveness of the golden markings. More detailed investigations on that subject have been performed by Kozlov (1994), who also has found some correlation between wing pattern and geographical distribution. M. maritimella from Abchasia has been described on the basis of females only. Comparing the description with the above mentioned variabilty of M. maschukella, we follow Kozlov (1994), that this taxon is synonymous to M. maschukella. Males, which resemble M. maritimella very well externally, are indistinguishable from M. maschukella with respect to their genitalia.

Distribution:

The species is known from north-eastern Turkey, the whole area of the Caucasus and from the Crimea (Meyrick 1912, Zagulajev 1978, Kozlov 1994, Zeller et al. 2002). The investigated specimens have been found near the Turkish Black Sea coast (Trabzon), in Georgia and in the north western Caucasus. Vertically, records are documented so far from 900 - 2300 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Biology:

Kozlov & Zvereva (2006) have found specimens feeding and mating on flowers of common elder (Sambucus nigra), Kozlov (1994) also reports Philadelphus caucasicus and occasionally species of Rubus and Rosa as feeding sites. In 2005, Marion Kurz discovered Micropterix maschukella feeding on flowers of Aruncus cf. dioicus in the subtropical climate of Mt. M´Tirala near Batumi, Georgia. The animals are on the wing in one generation from May till mid August, depending on the altitude. They inhabit edges of deciduous wood- and shrubland (e.g. Fagus-Rhododendron-associations), as well as tall herb vegetation (Kozlov 1994, Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.

Anatomy:

-genitalia, prep.-no. 738, M. Kurz: Georgia, Abchasia, near Suchumi, military road near Lata, Kobori valley, 1974.06.10, leg. Franz Eichler, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 730, M. Kurz: Russia, Caucasus, Teberda, spring of Narsan, 1976.08.11, leg. F. Eichler, coll. Christof Zeller -genitalia, prep.-no. 227, J.Heath = 6059 Mus.Vind.: "Fol Maden; b. Trapezunt; Blumener. `08; 2.Hälfte Juni", coll. Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna -genitalia, prep.-no. 734, M. Kurz: Russia, Caucasus, Teberda, Narsikol valley, eastern slope, 1976.08.12, leg. Franz Eichler, coll. Michael Kurz
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. 342, M. Kurz: "Nordwestkaukasus; Teberda 15.7.1972; Dsamagat-Tal; 2000-2400 m; leg. Franz Eichler", coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich -genitalia, receptaculum seminis in higher magnification, prep.-no. 342, M. Kurz: "Nordwestkaukasus; Teberda 15.7.1972; Dsamagat-Tal; 2000-2400 m; leg. Franz Eichler", coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   

Genitalia. Uncus long and slender, broadened at its tip; beneath the uncus, inside the tegumen a weakly sclerotized lobe, bearing long, hair-like setae; accessory claspers slender, triangle-shaped, at the inner surface a row of about 8 sickle- to T-shaped, stout and thickened setae; at the margin nearest to the valves 7 - 8 longer, straight to slightly bent, stout and thickened setae; valves moderately long, stout, constricted in middle, the spatulate distal third distinctly bent upwards; valves postbasally with a group of short normal setae and some very short, stout and thickened setae at inner surface; the spatulate distal third with 1 - 2 rows of short, straight, stout and thickened setae as well as a row of long, normal setae, also at inner surface.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing; sternite IX reduced, weakly sclerotized, with distinct margins, constricted in middle, but of little diagnostic value; papillae anales with band-like sclerotization, their proximal margin somewhat irregular; ductus seminalis at the onset of the receptaculum straight and very slender; receptaculum seminis longish, slender, proximally bag-like inflated and distinctly striated; a small appendix at the proximal end.

Diagnosis:

M. maschukella : Georgia, Abchasia, near Suchumi, military road near Lata, 1974.06.10, leg. Eichler, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. maschukella : Russia, Caucasus, Teberda-Turba, 1972.07, leg. Eichler, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. montanella : Georgia, Abchasia, Suchumi, military road near Lata, 1974.06.10, leg. Eichler, coll. Zoologische Sammlung des Bayrischen Staates, Munich M. maschukella -genitalia, prep.-no. 738, M. Kurz: Georgia, Abchasia, near Suchumi, military road near Lata, Kobori valley, 1974.06.10, leg. Franz Eichler, coll. Michael Kurz
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. montanella -genitalia, prep.-no. 729, M. Kurz: "Suchumi; Suchumer Heerstr.[aße]; bei Lata, Kobori-Tal; 10.6.1974; leg. F.Eichler", coll. Michael Kurz M. maschukella -genitalia, prep.-no. 734, M. Kurz: Russia, Caucasus, Teberda, Narsikol valley, eastern slope, 1976.08.12, leg. Franz Eichler, coll. Michael Kurz M. montanella -genitalia, prep.-no. 733, M. Kurz: Russia, NW-Caucasus, Teberda, Narsikol valley, eastern slope, 1976.07.30, leg. Franz Eichler; coll. Michael Kurz  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
 

Due to its high variabilty, M. maschukella is externally not always separable with certainty from other similar species, especially Micropterix montanella Zagulajev, 1983.
The male genitalia are very distinctive, the female genitalia can be distinguished from M. montanella by the distinctly shorter and less slender receptaculum seminis.

Phylogeny: We do not know of any close relatives of M. maschukella with respect to the structure of the male genitalia. DNA-investigations are ongoing, but results have not yet been published.

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Alphéraky, S. 1876. Lepidoptera Caucasi septentrionalis. Trudy Russkago Entomologicheskago obshchestva 10: 3-34.
Kozlov, M. V. 1994. Geographical variation in wing pattern of Micropterix maschukella Alphéraky, 1870 (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae); Nota lepidopterologica 17 (1/2): 45-52.
Kozlov, M. V. & E. L. Zvereva 2006. Aggregation of Micropterix maschukella moths on inflorescence of common elder: mating at foraging sites (Lepidoptera, Micropterigidae). Ethology, Ecology & Evolution 18: 147-158.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2011. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 19 December 2011].
Meyrick, E. 1912. Adelidae, Micropterygidae, Gracilariadae. – In: H. Wagner (ed.), Lepidopterorum Catalogus, pars 6, Berlin.
Zagulajev, A. K. 1978. Micropterygidae. 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
Zeller-Lukashort, H. C., M. E. Kurz & M. A. Kurz 2002. Neue Funddaten von Arten der Gattung Micropterix Hübner, [1825] (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae). – Zeitschrift der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Österreichischer Entomologen 54: 35–38.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2009.01.16
Kurz Marion: 2010.09.04
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.19
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.22
not reviewed

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