Agonopterix medelichensis , Buchner, Peter, 2015

Buchner, Peter, 2015, Two new species of Agonopterix (Depressariidae, Lepidoptera) from Europe, Zootaxa 3986 (1), pp. 101-114: 107-112

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Agonopterix medelichensis

sp. nov.

Agonopterix medelichensis  sp. nov.

Material. Holotype (figs. 18–22): ♀, Italia sept., Prov. Verona, Monte, 300 m, 19. 7. 1985, e.l. Trinia glauca  , leg. K. Burmann, A. hippomarathri  prov. det. K. Burmann, coll. TLMF, DEEUR [ Depressariidae  of Europe] specimen number 1642, gen. prep. P. Buchner, coll. TLMF.

Paratypes: ♂, [ Austria] Wien, Mödling, 6. 3. 1910, leg. Predota, coll MHMV, A. rotundella  prov. det. Predota [?], gen. prep. DEEUR 0 160 P. Buchner.

♂, genitalia, slide from ZMHU, left label: Zoolog. Museum Berlin, 82. | Depr. rotundella  Dgl., right label: T. 95. Wien kre | Coll. Hinnebg. 62443 | Dez. 51 Hannemann.

♀, [ Italia] Terolis merid, Naturns p. Meran, el. 6. 8. 1935, leg. J. Klimesch, A. rotundella  prov. det. J. Klimesch, coll. ZSM.

♂, [ Italia] Terolis merid, Naturns p. Meran, 30. 7. 1935, el. Seseli  ?, leg. J. Klimesch, A. rotundella  prov. det. J. Klimesch, coll. ZSM (fig. 24).

♂, Italia, Monti Lessini, Monte, 400 m, 45 ° 34.00´N; 10 ° 50,00´E, 25. 3. 2000, leg. et coll. Toni Mayr, gen. prep. DEEUR 1697 P. Buchner.

♂, Italia, Monti Lessini, Monte, 400 m, 45 ° 34.00´N; 10 ° 50,00´E, 25. 3. 2000, leg. et coll. Toni Mayr, DNA barcode ID DEEUR 1805 [differing numbering in this specimen: sample ID DEEUR 1805, process ID LEFIJ 2418 - 14!].

9 ♂, 1 ♀, Italia, Monti Lessini, Monte, 400 m, 45 ° 34.00´N; 10 ° 50,00´E, 25. 3. 2000, leg. et coll. Toni Mayr.

♀, Slovakia, Slovensky kras, Hrhov, 4. 5. 2002, leg. et coll. Z. Tokár, A. rotundella  prov. det. Z. Tokár.

♂, [ Hungary] Budapest, ex collect Staudinger, A. hippomarathri  prov. det. Staudinger [no further data] coll. ZMHU, gen. prep. DEEUR 1873 P. Buchner.

♂, Griechenland [ Greece], Falakron-Gebirge, Panorama, 800m, 30. 8. 2008, leg. & coll. W. Schmitz, gen. prep. DEEUR 1933 P. Buchner.

Diagnosis. In size and wing pattern A. medelichensis  is similar to A. nodiflorella  (fig. 2), but ground colour darker and somewhat scruffy, the three dark dots more diffuse, no concentration of dark scales along veins. Also similar to A. tripunctaria  (figs. 1 + 3–6), where position and size of the three dark dots is nearly the same, but only A. tripunctaria  shows flesh-coloured tinge on forewings. On cursory examination also similar to A. rotundella  , but in this species the inner marking of forewing is usually a single dot, not a pair of dots as in A. nodiflorella  and A. medelichensis  .

Male genitalia of A. medelichensis  (figs. 25–27) are distinctly different from those of the externally similar species mentioned above, especially from those of A. rotundella  (fig. 28). For diagnostic characters see description of male genitalia. Female genitalia differ from most other species of Agonopterix  by the strongly bulged anterior margin of sternite VIII with at least the anterior half of ostium within this bulge. Only A. silerella  , A. tripunctaria  (see figs. 12–15) and A. selini  are somewhat similar in this detail. In A. silerella  (fig. 16) the bulge is even more prominent and corpus bursae is more clearly separated from ductus bursae. In A. tripunctaria  the bulge starts more gradually and against A. selini  the most distinctive detail is the number of turns of ductus seminalis: 4 in A. medelichensis  and 8 in A. selini  . (Buchner, P., unpublished).

Description. Imago (figs. 18–24): Wingspan 14.5–18 mm. Head with light yellowish grey scales above eyes, ochreous to rusty brown on vertex, face silvery grey. Labial palp yellowish, without dark rings or other markings, second segment with ochreous to rusty brown scales in furrow seen from front. Antenna dark brown. Thorax without posterior crest, medium greyish brown, tegulae similar (reared specimens tend to have dark brown to blackish parts on front part of thorax and also on parts of legs and abdomen, but this must be caused by greasing as it does not happen if specimens are collected in spring). Forewing medium grey with an individually varying tinge of brown or straw-colour; small groups or single darker brown to blackish scales in individually varying number irregularly scattered over forewing, neither forming any patterns nor concentrated along veins, but become generally more dense toward apex; only between ends of veins darker scales form spots; basal field of forewing a little lighter than adjacent parts, but inconspicuously so, with a small, brown dot on dorsal base; constant markings two blackish dots at about one-third, oblique, the proximal nearer to costa, sometimes a little larger and a third at about one-half, all three dots not surrounded or centred by brighter scales; cilia concolorous with wings. Hindwing in fresh specimens scarcely translucent at base, increasingly opaque towards the distal part, medium to darker greyish brown, similar to forewing coloration, veins darker and conspicuous, a dark border line present; cilia more or less concolorous with wings with two darker parallel lines. Legs: femur grey to brown, tibia with long strawy yellowish hairs, especially on hindleg. Abdomen with silvery grey scales, ventrally with four dark spots on each segment, forming four rows.

Variation: Upperside of forewings shows variation in number of interspersed dark scales and in colour from grey to yellowish grey to brown. Scales in the furrow of second segment of labial palps and on vertex vary from bright yellowish to rusty brown. The range and variability of legs and abdomen coloration cannot be described exactly because in all fresh specimens there is some greasing, especially on femur of foreleg and abdomen, while specimens caught in spring, which are not greasy, have lost most scales in this region.

Male genitalia (figs. 25–27) are typical for the genus Agonopterix  without any unusual features. To find diagnostic characters, it is necessary to look at the combination of shape of cuiller and socii: cuiller rather stout and slightly bent inwards in standard preparation, at 3 / 4 tapering and bent outwards, ending in a point just before the costa. Socii conspicuously narrow, length/width-ratio 1.8 (see fig. 27) and therefore much smaller than the average shape in genus Agonopterix  . Gnathos fusiform, overtopping rear border of socii by about half its length. Anellus lobes very narrow.

Female genitalia (figs. 30–33): Anterior margin of sternite VIII straight with a semicircular bulge which starts rather seamlessly; ostium oval, nearly entirely within this bulge. Ductus seminalis with about 4 turns. Ductus bursae rather smooth, diameter markedly large (about 1 / 4 – 1 / 3 of lateral extension of sternite VIII in standard preparation). Corpus bursae small (maximum diameter about twice as large as diameter of ductus bursae). The signa of both examined females are constricted in the middle. Experience shows that the signum exhibits a certain amount of infraspecific variation in Agonopterix  . It is therefore too soon to be sure if this similarity is coincidence or a typical feature of A. medelichensis  .

Genetic data. Barcode under DEEUR 1805 (555 bp., ♂, Italia, Monti Lessini, Monte, 400 m, 45 ° 34.00´N; 10 ° 50,00´E, 25. 3. 2000, leg. et coll. Toni Mayr, gen. prep. DEEUR 1805) [Note differing numbering in this specimen: sample ID DEEUR 1805, process ID LEFIJ 2418 - 14, specimen ID DEEUR 1805!]. Neighbor-joining analysis shows Agonopterix argillacea  as the nearest neighbor with 3.88 % p-distance; in European fauna it is A. scopariella  with 4.55 % p-distance.

Relatedness. Based on genitalia patterns of both sexes and genetic data, A. medelichensis  appears to be rather isolated, and in particular it is not a close relative of A. rotundella  .

Distribution. So far known from Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece and Russia. In Austria it had been collected from Mödling near Vienna, stored in NHMV under A. rotundella  . In Italy the larva had been collected in Monte (Monti Lessini, Prov. Verona) on Trinia glauca  by Burmann, the reared specimen stored in TLMF under A. hippomarathri  , and also from Naturns near Meran (South Tyrol) on? Seseli  by Klimesch, the reared specimen stored in ZSM under A. rotundella  . In Slovakia the moth had been collected in Slovensky kras (private collection Z. Tokár, stored under A. rotundella  ), in Hungary from Budapest, stored in ZMHU under A. hippomarathri  and in Greece from Falakron-Mountains (private collection Viehmann, undetermined). And “ Agonopterix rotundella ( Douglas, 1846)  ( Lepidoptera  , Depressariidae  ) collected in Omsk Province is reported as new to Russia ” ( Lvovsky & Knyazev 2013) is misidentified: the photograph of the moth and the drawing of the male genitalia show clearly they had found A. medelichensis  .

Biology. Reared from larvae collected on Trinia glauca  and another undetermined Apiaceae  (no further details available). Reared specimens emerged in midsummer, and worn specimens have been caught in spring, indicating that the species hibernates as adults.

Derivation of name. “ medelichensis  ” means “from Medelicha”, the Latin name of “Mödling”, a city in Lower Austria near Vienna, where the specimen was collected, which was the first to reveal by dissection that this is not A. rotundella  but a new species.

Remarks. It is worth considering why the specimens from Mödling had been misidentified as A. rotundella  and not as A. nodiflorella  , which is more similar based on wing pattern (proximal marking usually a double dot in A. nodiflorella  and A. medelichensis  , but a single dot in A. rotundella  ). Because A. rotundella  and A. nodiflorella  are remarkably similar, the biology may have been decisive: A. nodiflorella  feeds on Ferulago campestris  , not growing in Austria, and A. rotundella  feeds on Daucus carota  , present around Vienna. A similar consideration may have resulted in the determination as A. hippomarathri  by Burmann. The specimen was reared from Trinia glauca  , a well known foodplant of A. hippomarathri  . Based on the appearance of the moth this misidentification is puzzling, because fresh specimens of A. hippomarathri  are markedly different from A. medelichensis  . Why Klimesch also misidentified his specimens as A. rotundella  is difficult to guess, but it is possible he had seen the specimens in NHMV. But none of these determinations had been checked by dissection. One person who dissected the specimens stored in NHMV under A. rotundella  was Hannemann, but he accepted the determination, publishing the drawing of the male genitalia of A. medelichensis  as A. rotundella  in Hannemann (1953) and subsequently unchanged in Hannemann (1995). According to Hannemann (1953) he examined three males: “Untersucht: 1 Männchen von Wien, 1 Männchen von Italien, 1 Männchen vom Taurus-Gebirge, coll. Staudinger (Mus. Berlin)” In ZMHU only the slide of the male from Vienna could be found (fig. 29), but not the males from Italy and Taurus mountains, so the question to which species they belong remains unanswered.

Hannemann ´s misidentification had obviously caused the record of “ A. rotundella  new for Russia ” ( Lvovsky & Knyazev 2013). Also the record “ Agonopterix nodiflorella  neu für Deutschland ” [ A. nodiflorella  new for Germany] ( Derra 1989) may have been caused by Hannemann ´s error: Derra determined his male specimen by dissection using Hannemann (1953), in which the male genitalia of A. nodiflorella  are depicted correctly. Since the genitalia of genuine A. rotundella  are nearly indistinguishable from those of A. nodiflorella  , and because Hannemann ´s “ A. rotundella  ” shows A. medelichensis  , then using Hannemann (1953) to identify true A. rotundella  inevitably leads to “ A. nodiflorella  ”.

Looking for reports of specimens belonging to A. medelichensis  in Burmann (1984) it is natural to look under A. rotundella  . In the Klimesch-collection, now in ZSM, February 2014 I had found a specimen stored under A. rotundella  (♂, Terolis merid, Naturns p. Meran, 30. 7. 1935, el. Seseli  ?, leg. J. Klimesch) belonging to A. medelichensis  . But Burmann didn ´t report findings of A. rotundella  from the “Tyrol” (Tyrol incuding South Tyrol and province Trient, Italy) at all. That indicates these specimen had been stored under undetermined material until at least 1984. Monte (province Verona), where he reared “ A. hippomarathri  ” (now holotype of A. medelichensis  ) from Trinia glauca  is not covered by this paper. The reports listed under A. hippomarathri  are correct as far as they could be checked.


Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum


Zoologisches Museum der Humboldt Universitaet


Bavarian State Collection of Zoology


Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport