Megacraspedus cuencellus Caradja, 1920

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: 57-58

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Megacraspedus cuencellus Caradja, 1920


Megacraspedus cuencellus Caradja, 1920 

Megacraspedus cuencellus  Caradja, 1920: 117.

Examined material.

Holotype ♂, "Cuenca V Korb" "HOLOTYPE Megacraspedus cuencellus Car. ♂ ROMANIA" "CIS-Korea Microlep. 4216 Megacraspedus cuencellus Car. - Cuena [sic], Spain K. T. Park" ( MGAB) [photographs examined]. Non type-material. France. 1 ♂, Alpes Maritimes, Caussols, 1100 m, 22.v.2002, leg. J. Nel, genitalia slide 14295 Nel ( TLMF). Spain. 1 ♂, prov. Teruel, Carretera Moscardón, 1600 m, 5.vii.2010, leg. Z. Tokár, genitalia slide GU 15/1401 Huemer (RCZT).


Adult. Male (Figure 43). Wingspan 10-14 mm. Segment 2 of labial palpus with large scale brush, dark brown on outer surface, white mottled with brown on inner and lower surface, white upper surface; segment 3 white with black tip. Antennal scape without pecten; flagellum black, indistinctly lighter ringed. Head, thorax, and tegula light grey. Forewing dark grey from blackish, light grey-based scales; fringes grey. Hindwing dark grey with grey fringes.

Female. Unknown.

Variation. The forewing colour varies slightly from brownish grey to darker grey. The holotype (examined from a photograph) differs in having black streaks in the fold and towards apex.

Male genitalia (Figure 177). Uncus moderately small and slender, about two times longer than wide, sub-rectangular with rounded apex; gnathos hook strong, about length of uncus, distally moderately curved with pointed apex; anterior margin of tegumen with deep, U-shaped emargination, pedunculi distinct, suboval; valva nearly straight, stout, extending almost to apex of uncus, basal part distinctly wider than distal part, distal part weakly curved dorsad, apically rounded; saccular area densely covered with setae, without separated sacculus; posterior margin of vinculum with moderate medial emargination, weakly rounded lateral humps, broadly sub-rectangular vincular sclerites extending from sclerotised posterior edge of saccus to sub-basal part of valva; saccus massive, semi-oval, with weakly pointed apex, ratio maximum width to length about 1, posterior margin arched, with pointed mediolateral projections, separated by shallow medial emargination, medial part with strongly sclerotised longitudinal ridge extending almost to middle of saccus, lateral sclerites short, nearly about half length of maximum width of saccus; phallus moderately slender, medially bent, orbicular coecum, distal two-thirds slender, sclerotised medial ridge with strong tooth, ventral edge with strongly sclerotised subapical tooth, ductus ejucalatorius with contorted linear interior sclerotisation.

Female genitalia. Unknown.


Megacraspedus cuencellus  is characterised by its almost plain dark grey forewings and dark hindwings but largely agrees with M. bidentatus  sp. n. (p 65), M. fuscus  sp. n. (p 67) and M. skoui  sp. n. (p 74). The male genitalia are unmistakable due to the unique structures of the phallus. M. cuencellus  differs from other species particularly in the thorns of the phallus having a different position.

Molecular data.

BIN BOLD:ACC5029 (n = 1). The distance to the nearest neighbour M. bidentatus  sp. n. is 3.1% (p-dist).


Southern France ( Nel and Varenne 1997), Spain.


Host plant and early stages are unknown. The few adults have been collected from late May to early July at altitudes of between 1500 and 1650 m.


Megacraspedus cuencellus  was described from one male in good condition from the province of Cuenca in Central Spain ( Caradja 1920: 117). The genitalia of the holotype were figured by Park (1996: 75, figs 50-52). A male specimen from France corresponds with M. cuencellus  from Spain in the genitalia and in the short COI sequence of 407 bp.