Megacraspedus attritellus Staudinger, 1871

Huemer, Peter & Karsholt, Ole, 2018, Revision of the genus Megacraspedus Zeller, 1839, a challenging taxonomic tightrope of species delimitation (Lepidoptera, Gelechiidae), ZooKeys 800, pp. 1-278: 131-132

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Megacraspedus attritellus Staudinger, 1871


Megacraspedus attritellus Staudinger, 1871 

Megacraspedus attritellus  Staudinger, 1871: 316.

Examined material.

Lectotype ♂, here designated, [Russia, Volgograd oblast] “Lecto-type” "Sarepta [Krasnoarmeysk] Chr.[istoph]" “Origin.” "Lectotype ♂ Megacraspedus attritellus Stdgr teste K. Sattler, 1986" "ex coll. Staudinger" "GU 16/1426 ♂ P.Huemer" ( ZMHU). Paralectotypes, 3 ♂, “Para-lecto-type” “Origin.” "ex coll. Staudinger", genitalia slide 03022304 J. Junnilainen ( ZMHU). Non-type material. Russia. 1 ♂, Volgograd oblast, Sarepta, 1872, coll. Staudinger, genitalia slide 3203 Mus. Vind. ( NHMW); 1 ♂, Volgograd oblast, Volgograd, 25-31.v.1967, leg. V. Zouhar ( ZMUC); 2 ♂, Orenburg oblast, near Burannoe, 18.viii.2006, leg. K. Nupponen ( ZMUC); 1 ♂, same data, but 7.viii.2005, genitalia slide no. 2/11.X.2005 K. Nupponen (RCKN); 1 ♂, Orenburg oblast, 20 km S Pokrovka village, Schibendy valley, 21.viii.2006, leg. K. Nupponen, genitalia prep. (in glycerin) (RCKN); 2 ♂, S Ural, Orenburg distr., 40 km W Orsk, Guberlia village, 12-13.vii.2015, leg. H. Roweck & N. Savenkov (ECKU); 1 ♂, Dagestan oblast, Derbent, leg. Christoph ( ZMHU). No collecting data. 2 ♂ ( MZH); 4 ♂, coll. Staudinger ( ZMHU).


Adult. Male (Figure 108). Wingspan 11-13 mm. Segment 2 of labial palpus short with sub-triangular scale brush of about same length as segment 3, brown on outer and lower surface, white on inner and upper surface; segment 3 about half as long as segment 2, white mottled with brown. Antennal scape with pecten of several hairs; flagellum ringed black and light brown. Head and thorax cream-white mottled with light brown; tegula whitish. Forewing white, more or less densely mottled blackish brown, especially along costa, in fold and in apical area; an irregular whitish streak from base almost to apex; two elongate black dots in fold; a black dot at end of cell; termen with black scales; fringes light grey with darker fringe line. Hindwing light grey with concolorous fringes.

Female. Unknown.

Variation. There is variation in the amount of blackish brown scales on the forewing. Worn specimens become whitish.

Male genitalia (Figure 234). Uncus large, sub-square, latero-apically convex; gnathos hook slender, slightly longer than uncus, strongly bent at about one-fifth, distal part straight, apically pointed; anterior margin of tegumen with shallow, rounded emargination and small additional emargination medially; pedunculi of moderate size; valva moderately stout, distally weakly curved, extending to about middle of uncus; saccular area densely covered with setae, without separated sacculus; posterior margin of vinculum with shallow medial emargination, without distinct lateral humps, vincular sclerite elongated sub-triangular, with strongly sclerotised posterior edge; saccus prominent, V-shaped, evenly tapered to rounded apex, ratio maximum width to length approximately 0.85, posterior margin with broadly rounded mediolateral projections, separated by shallow incision, medial part with long sclerotised ridge from posterior margin almost to apex of saccus, lateral sclerites nearly length of maximum width of saccus, with distinctly bulged apex; phallus with bulbous coecum, distal two-thirds slender, straight, dorsal part with distinct sub-triangular sclerotisation sub-apically.

Female genitalia. Unknown.


Megacraspedus attritellus  is characterised by segment 3 of the labial palpus being short, by the pecten of the antennal scape, and by its blackish brown forewings with a whitish longitudinal streak and three elongate black spots. Among species with a scale brush at segment 2 and short segment 3 of the labial palpus it resembles M. leuca  most, but that species is larger, and has lighter forewings with indistinct black dots. It is furthermore similar to M. nupponeni  sp. n. (p 135) and M. orenburgensis  (p 144). The male genitalia are very similar to M. cerussatellus  (Figure 233) from which they differ in characters such as the slightly shorter and more slender gnathos hook, the more slender saccus and in particular the comparatively shorter and less bulbous basal part of the phallus, with a characteristic sub-apical sclerotisation. They differ from M. consortiella  (Figure 235) e.g., in the sub-square shape of the uncus and are easily distinguished from M. leuca  by the distinctly smaller and V-shaped saccus.

Molecular data.

BIN BOLD:ACE2700 (n = 3), BOLD:ACB0770 (n = 1). Genetically variable species. The intraspecific divergence of the barcode region is low in one cluster, with mean 0.1% and maximum divergence of 0.2% and unknown in the second cluster. The maximum distance between both clusters is 4.2%, indicating possible cryptic diversity, whereas the distance to the nearest neighbour M. leuca  is 6.8% (p-dist).


South-western Russia.


Host plant and early stages are unknown. The adults have been collected during July and August in steppe grassland at unreported altitudes ( Junnilainen and Nupponen 2010: 12), with a single specimen found in May.


Megacraspedus attritellus  was described from four males collected by H Christoph in Sarepta (now Krasnoarmeysk), southern Russia (Staudinger 1871). A lectotype, already labelled as such by K Sattler, is here designated in order to fix the identity of the species and conserve stability of nomenclature. Anikin and Zolotuhin (2017: 469, pl. 35, fig. 7) figured the lectotype but did not designate it following ICZN (1999) Art. 74.7.3.