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

Haplotinea insectella (Fabricius, 1794)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Tinea insectella Fabricius, 1794: 303, 72.
Type locality: Africa ?
Type: 1 specimen: in Insectis ex Africa missis Mus. Dom. Bosc, in coll. Fabricius, zoological museum of the Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel; permanent loan in ZMUC (Kristensen & Karsholt 2007).

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
i>Tinea rusticella Hübner, 1796.
Tinea misella Zeller, 1839.


: Salzburg, Flachgau, Thalgau, 1994.07.14, leg. et coll. Michael Kurz : Salzburg, Flachgau, Kasern, 1971.07.07, leg. Fritz Mayrhuber, coll. Haus der Natur, Salzburg    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 3 , 1 . Forewing length: 5.8-6.2 mm, 7.2 mm. Vestiture of hair-like scales on the head distant, ochreous grey-brown; labial palpi divergent, pale ochreous, somewhat distantly scaled, shining; antennae filiform, ochreous-brown, shining, about 2/3 (), respectively, 3/4 () of forewing length; thorax pale grey-brown; tegulae in anterior half pale grey-brown, posterior half ochreous; forewings dark brown, intensivly shining, with delicate, irregular, pale ochreous mottling; only along the wing margins, the spots are more regularly arranged; a delicate blackish spot at discus; fringe dark grey-brown, mixed ochreous at basis, golden shining; hindwings dark grey-brown with coppery-violet shimmer; fringe grey-brown, golden shining; underside unicolorous, grey-brown, intensively coppery shining, but outer margin of forewing and inner margin of hindwing ambiguously ochreous; legs dark brown to pale ochreous, shining; foretibia with epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of spurs of unequal length at distal end; hindtibia with a long tuft of hair-like scales and a pair of spurs of unequal length each at about 0.45 of tibial length and at distal end; abdomen dark grey-brown, shining, lighter beneath.


Following Karsholt & Nieukerken (2011), the species is distributed nearly throughout Europe. Records are missing from Iceland, Ireland, from the Iberian peninsula, the Tyrrhenian archipelago, Sicily and the southern and western Balkans. In Asia, the species is known from the south Siberian mountains, as well as from the Amur and Primorye region (Dubatolov 2011). Furthermore, the species is recorded from Japan (anonymous 2011) and North America (Hodges et al. 1983). The vertical distribution is only poorly documented, with data from about 100 - 550 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2014).


No authentic data about the natural biotopes are available. Nevertheless, imagines are regularly found inhouse in one generation per year from June to August (Kurz & Kurz 2014).

Stages in development:

Larva. Following Hannemann (1977), the larva feeds primarily in fungi and rotten wood, secondarily it may become a storage pest inhouse, especially on herbal substrates.


genitalia: without data, prep. 9437 -genitalia, ostium, prep.-no. 890, M. Kurz: Salzburg, Flachgau, Kasern, 1971.07.07, leg. F. Mairhuber, coll. Haus der Natur, Salzburg    
Picture from: Svenska fjärilar: © Gustafsson Bert
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

genitalia (Petersen 1957). Very characteristic and much specialized; saccus nearly completely atrophied; valvae complicate, with strong teeth-like structures, ventrally grown together; uncus consisting of two dark pigmented arms, which are wound distally and bear several teeth; aedeagus simple, tubular, bent.

genitalia (Petersen 1957). Ostium under a strong, posteriorly emarginate, subgenital plate.


Externally, the species cannot certainly be distinguished from Haplotinea ditella (Pierce, Metcalfe & Diakonoff, 1938). In the male genitalia, the valvae are more complicated in H. insectella, with strong teeth. The uncus is more prominent and much more complex than in H. ditella, but the saccus is nearly atrophied. In the female genitalia, the posteriorly emarginate subgenital plate is characteristic for H. insectella, whereas the first part of the ductus bursae is simple only. The latter is surrounded by small platelets in H. ditella.

Worth knowing:


anonymous 2011a. An Identification Guide of Japanese Moths Compiled by Everyone. URL: http://www.jpmoth.org [online 27 April 2011].
Dubatolov, V. V. 2011. Collection of Siberian Zoological Museum: Tineidae. http://szmn.sbras.ru/Lepidop/Incurvar.htm [online 27 April 2011].
Fabricius, J. C. 1794. Entomologica systematica emendata et aucta. 3 (2). 349 pp. Hafniae.
Hannemann, H.-J. 1977. Kleinschmetterlinge oder Microlepidoptera III. Federmotten (Pterophoridae) Gespinstmotten (Yponomeutidae) Echte Motten (Tineidae). - In: Dahl, F. 1925. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands. 63. Teil. VEB Gustav Fischer Verlag Jena, 275 pp., 17 Taf.
Hodges, R. W. et al. 1983. Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. E. W. Classey, London, UK. Updated by Jean-François Landry, Don Lafontaine and Jim Troubridge [available on http://www.lepbarcoding.org/cl_nth_am.php]
Kristensen, N. P. & O. Karsholt 2007. Lists of primary types of Lepidoptera in the ZMUC collections. http://www.zmuc.dk/EntoWeb/collections-databaser/Lepidoptera/Lepidoptera-index.htm [online 12 May 2011].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2014. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 31 May 2014].
Petersen, G. 1957. Die Genitalien der paläarktischen Tineiden. Beiträge zur Entomologie 7: 55-176, 4 Taf. 149 Textfig.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2010.09.10
Kurz Michael: 2011.04.27
Kurz Michael: 2012.08.26
Kurz Michael: 2012.11.15
Kurz Michael: 2014.06.13
not reviewed