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 vulturensis Heath, 1981

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Micropterix vulturensis Heath, 1981: 228 - 229, fig. 5, 6.
Type locality: Italy, Lukania, Monte Vulture
Type: Holotype : Italy, Lukania, Mte. Vulture, Laghi di Monticchio, 750 m, 1.V.1967 (F.Hartig), (genitalia investigation J.Heath no. 395); in coll BMNH, London

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
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Habit:

   
: Abruzzo, Gran Sasso dŽItalia, Campo Imperatore, Vado di Sole, 1993.05.24, leg. Hausenblas, Zeller, Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz : Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maieletta, 2000 m, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
   

Scheme of wing pattern:

Description of adults: Examined: 9 , 9 . Forewing length: 3.5 - 4.2 mm; 4.2 - 5.0 mm. Head black-brown; vestiture of hair-like scales on the head dirty to rusty yellow; antennae dark brown, golden shining, 3/4 (), respectively, slightly more than 1/2 () of forewing length; thorax bronzy golden, distally reddish; tegulae coppery to purple, distally sometimes blueish; forewings brownish golden to purple violet; inner margin broadly bronzy golden from basis to fascia at 1/2, the bronzy golden area often partly filled by a large area in ground colour near basis and therefore indistinct; outer margin and apex bronzy golden, leaving only the outermost tip of the wing purple, the golden colouration along the outer margin sometimes incomplete; other wing markings whitish golden to golden, delicately bordered bronzy golden: At almost 1/4 a slightly oblique, straight fascia from costa to bronzy golden inner margin, constricted at costa or not completely reaching costa; a moderately broad, slightly oblique, partly outwardly bent fascia at 1/2 across the whole wing width, partly also constricted in middle; at 3/5 a small costal spot, sometimes fused with median fascia along costa; at 3/4 a broader, quadrangulate to kidney-shaped spot from costa, oblique towards middle of wing, often touching bronzy golden outer margin; fringe bronzy golden, basally purple, light golden outwards; hind wings bronzy golden, more or less tinged coppery to purple, especially apically; fringe of the same colour, lighter outwards; legs and abdomen brown, golden shining.

Distribution:

To present knowledge, the species seems to be widely distributed in the central and southern Apennines. It occurs from about 700 up to 2000 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Biology:

 
Biotope around Pinus mugo Turra: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maieletta, 1930 m, 2005.07.05 The first photo of a living animal of M. vulturensis : Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, near la Maielletta, 2005.07.05 The same animal: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, near la Maielletta, 2005.07.05  
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
 

At lower altitudes, M. vulturensis inhabits open, dry and somewhat rocky beech-mixed forests. Here, the animals fly on sunny clearings, between thickets of Rubus and on grassy areas around bushes of Juniperus. Often, Micropterix rothenbachii Frey, 1856 occurs syntopically. In the mountains, M. vulturensis has been found up to 2000 m a.s.l., where the animals swarm around blossoming Pinus mugo in full sunshine, often also in small groups. They frequently sit on the male flowers, where they feed on the pollen. Depending on the altitude, the imagines fly in one generation from May till July (Kurz & Kurz 2011).

Stages in development:

The early stages are unknown.

Anatomy:

-genitalia, prep.-no. 550, M. Kurz: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maielletta, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, prep.-no. 652, M. Kurz: Marche, Pescara west of Ascoli Piceno, 1993.05.19, leg. Hausenblas/Zeller/Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, preparation in caustic potash, prep.-no. 951, M. Kurz: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maielletta, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz -genitalia, permanent preparation, prep.-no. 951, M. Kurz: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maielletta, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, 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, receptaculum seminis in higher magnification, prep.-no. 951, M. Kurz: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maielletta, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
     

Genitalia. Uncus moderately long and slender; accessory claspers very broad, trapezoid, at the inner surface a long curved row of strongly modified, Y- to T-shaped, stout and thickened setae; at their distal margin, a row of about 8 fairly long, bent, stout and thickened setae, followed by 4 shorter, but otherwise similar setae proximally; valves moderately long and slender, constricted in the middle, the elongated, spatulate distal third bent upwards; at the inner surface of the valves, postbasally 3 stout setae, the distal third with 2 - 3 rows of short to very short, straight, stout and thickened setae, as well as a row of several long, fine setae.

Genitalia. Tergite IX missing; sternite IX reduced, well sclerotized, with indistinct lateral margins; papillae anales with band-like sclerotization, medially broader than laterally (lateral view); receptaculum seminis moderately long, the proximal half bag-like inflated, distinctly striated.

Diagnosis:

M. vulturensis : Abruzzo, Gran Sasso dŽItalia, Campo Imperatore, Vado di Sole, 1993.05.24, leg. Hausenblas, Zeller, Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. schaefferi : Salzburg, Hohe Tauern, Stubach valley, Enzingerboden, 1500 m, 1994.05.13, coll. Michael Kurz M. zangheriella : Emilia Romagna, near Lizzano in Belvedere, 800 m, 2002.06.01, leg. Renate Hausenblas & Christof Zeller, coll. Christof Zeller M. facetella : Croatia, Dalmatia, Split, 1853, leg. Lederer, 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. vulturensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 550, M. Kurz: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maielletta, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. schaefferi -genitalia, prep.-no. 715, M. Kurz: Lombardia, Como, near Cavargna, 1997.05.03, coll. Michael Kurz M. zangheriella -genitalia, prep.-no. 944, M. Kurz: Toscana, Firenze, Marradi, Badia Valle, 430 m, 1997.05.13, coll. Museo Friulano, Udine M. facetella -genitalia, prep.-no. 956, M. Kurz: Croatia, Dalmatia, near Dubrovnik, between Trsteno and Majkovi, 2003.05.03, leg. Zeller & Kurz, 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. vulturensis -genitalia, prep.-no. 951, M. Kurz: Abruzzo, Montagna della Maiella, la Maielletta, 1992.07.15, leg. Kurz & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz M. schaefferi -genitalia, prep.-no. 361, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Alpine foothills, Bürmoos, Roding, 1987.04.26, leg. H. Nelwek, coll. Michael Kurz M. zangheriella -genitalia, prep.-no. 954, M. Kurz: Emilia Romagna, near Lizzano in Belvedere, 760 m, 2002.05.30, leg. C. Zeller, coll. Michael Kurz M. facetella -genitalia, prep.-no. 957, M. Kurz: Montenegro, Herceg-Novi, Igalo, 2003.05.02, leg. Zeller & Kurz, 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

Externally, M. vulturensis cannot be distinguished from Micropterix schaefferi Heath, 1975 with certainty, although the former is frequently slightly smaller. To present knowledge, both species do not occur sympatrically, although this could easily be the case in central Italy. Two other allopatric species with similar wing pattern are Micropterix zangheriella Heath, 1963 (also possibly overlapping in distribution in central Italy) and Micropterix facetella Zeller, 1851 from Dalmatia.
In the male genitalia, all four species are separable clearly, although M. schaefferi is quite similar again: The row of thickened setae on the accessory claspers extends further proximally in M. schaefferi, the accessory claspers are more pointed at the apex, and the valves are somewhat longer and more slender. In the female genitalia however, no convincing differences have been found to M. schaefferi and M. zangheriella.

Phylogeny: The systematic position of M. vulturensis ist still unclear. Its male genitalia do not show a very close resemblance to other species of the genus, although it is assumed, that it might belong to the higher evolved species in the so-called tunbergella-species-group (Kurz et al. 2010).

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Heath, J. 1981b. Three new species of Micropterix Huebner (Lepidoptera, Zeugloptera: Micropterigidae) from Italy; Entomological Gazette 32: 225 - 229.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2011. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 17 May 2011].
Kurz, M. A., M. E. Kurz & C. Zeller-Lukashort 2010. Morphological characters as indicators for a hypothetical arrangement of species in the genus Micropterix Hübner, 1825. Unpublished manuscript.

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2009.02.18
Kurz Michael: 2010.12.16
Kurz Michael: 2011.01.09
Kurz Michael: 2011.05.17
Kurz Michael: 2011.11.26
Kurz Michael: 2011.12.17
Kurz Michael: 2012.02.12
Kurz Michael: 2012.04.11
Kurz Michael: 2012.07.03
Document reviewed by:
not reviewed: 2012.07.03
Document released by:
Kurz Michael: 2012.07.03

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