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

Hepialus Fabricus, 1775

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Hepialus Fabricius, 1775
Type: Noctua humuli Linnaeus, 1758

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:


Hepialus humuli Linnaeus, 1758 is presently the only species, that is placed in genus Hepialus. This species is distributed throughout Europe except Portugal, the Tyrrhenian archipelago, Sicily and some Balkan countries (Karsholt & Nieukerken 2004). In Asia, its distribution reaches at least to western and southern Siberia (Dubatolov 2009).


Until recently, most holarctic species of Hepialidae have been placed in genus Hepialus, although already Hübner (1820) has recognized other genera in the European fauna. A good characterization of these genera has been provided by Viette (1949), who has also taken into account characters of the genitalia. Nevertheless, other authors have remained placing all European species in Hepialus, e.g. Forster & Wohlfahrt (1960) or Heath (1983). In North America, Sthenopis Packard, 1865 has been described as a separte genus already very early and since then it has been used by most following authors. But many other species have remained in Hepialus. Presently, only Hepialus humuli Linnaeus, 1758 is placed in Hepialus, although species of Sthenopis show some similarities, which are assumed to be common apomorphies of both genera (Wagner & Tindale 1988): (1) a metatibial hairpencil in males (2) swollen metatibiae in males (3) triangular forewings with falcate apices (4) forewing scales with rounded apices (5) absence (loss) of the epiphysis in all but Sthenopis argenteomaculatus (Harris, 1841).

Worth knowing:


Dubatolov, V. V. 2009. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum: Hepialidae. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Hepial.htm [online 4 August 2009].
Fabricius, J. C. 1775.
Forster W. & Th. A. Wohlfahrt 1960. Die Schmetterlinge Mitteleuropas, 3, Bombyces & Sphinges, Franckh´sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart
Heath, J. 1983. The moths and butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol.I: Micropterigidae – Heliozelidae. – Harley Books, Martins, Great Horkesley, Colchester, Essex.
Hübner, J. 1816–1826 ["1816"] b. Verzeichniß bekannter Schmettlinge [sic]: 1–431 + [1]–2–72. Augsburg.
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2004. Hepialidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 1.1, http://www.faunaeur.org [online 16 May 2008].
Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.) Holmiae. Systema Nat. ed. 10 i-ii + 1-824
Viette, P. 1949. Contribution à l étude des Hepialidae, 12e note; Genres et synonymie. Lambillionea 49: 101 - 104
Wagner, D. L. & N. B. Tindale 1988. An appraisal of Gazoryctra Hübner (Hepialidae) and description of a new species from Arizona and New Mexico. Journal of the Lepidopterist´s Society 42 (3): 2004 - 212

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2009.08.21
not reviewed