Megacraspedus binotella (Duponchel, 1843)

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: 81-83

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Megacraspedus binotella (Duponchel, 1843)


Megacraspedus binotella (Duponchel, 1843) 

Palpula binotella  Duponchel, 1843: 256, pl. 72, fig. 7.

Ypsolophus binotellus  Fischer von Röslerstamm, 1843: 300, 301, pl. 99, figs 2a, 2b; homonym and synonym of Palpula binotella  Duponchel, 1843.

Examined material.

Syntype ♂, "binotella FR" “TYPE” “Duponchel” “2169” [without abdomen] ( MNHN) [photographs examined]. Non-type material. Austria. 1 ♂, without locality, leg. Mann ( NHMW); 1 ♂, 1 ♀, Niederösterreich, südl. Wienerwald, Sooss, 28.iv.1968, leg. Arenberger (RCEA); 2 ♂, Niederösterreich, Gramatneusiedl, Fürbachwiesen, 22.v.1964, leg. E. Arenberger; 2 ♂, same data, but 17.v.1964, leg. E. Arenberger; 1 ♂, same data, but 21.v.1968, leg. F. Kasy ( NHMW, RCEA, ZMUC); 1 ♂, Niederösterreich, Wolkersdorf, Hochleiten, 14.v.1925; 1 ♂, Niederösterreich, Mödling,; 1 ♀, Wien, Bisamberg, 27.v.1902, leg. Preissecker; 2 ♀, Wien, Prater, 1857, genitalia slide GU 17/1481 Huemer (all NHMW); 1 ♂, Steiermark, U. Rein, Enzenbach-Horgar Pauli, 500 m, 16.v.1978, leg. K. Rath, genitalia slide GEL 187 Huemer ( TLMF). Croatia. Platak, 1000 m,, leg. J. Junnilainen (RCJJ). Czech Republic. 1 ♂, Brvany, Pisecny, 300 m,, leg. J. Šumpich ( NMPC). Germany. 2 ♂, Bayern, Eching, late v.1949, leg. H. Pfister ( TLMF). Hungary. 1 ♂, Budaörs, 2.v.1953, leg. J. Szöcs ( ZMUC). Italy. 1 ♂, 1 ♀, Mte. Baldo, Costabella, 1800 m, late vi.1965, leg. K. Burmann ( TLMF); 1 ♂, Verona, Monte, 420 m, 11.v.2012, leg. J. Skyva ( NMPC). Poland. 1 ♂, prov. Lublin, Dobużek, 30.v.1996, leg. T. Rynarzewski (RCTZ). Romania. 1 ♂, Carpatii orientali, Muntii Gurghiului, Brădeşti, 600 m, 14.v.2003, leg. S. & Z. Kovács; 1 ♂, Carpatii orientali, Muntii Perşani, Cheile Vărghişului, 700 m, 27.v.2009, leg. S. & Z. Kovács (all RCKO). Slovakia. 1 ♂, Hrabušice, v.1977, leg. J. Patočka; 1 ♂, NR Viniansky Hradný vrch, 8.v.1988, leg. Z. Tokár; 1 ♂, same data, but 14.v.1988 ( ZMUC); 1 ♀, same data, but 19.v.2009 (RCTZ); 1 ♂, Staré, 8.v.1988, leg. Z. Tokár ( ZMUC); 1 ♂, Zemplinske vrchy, 2.v.2003, leg. Z. Tokár; 1 ♂, 1 ♀, NR Viniansky, hradny vrch, 10.v.2009, leg. Z. Tokár; 1 ♀, Mikulásow, 30.iv.-1.v.2005, leg. Z. Tokár (all RCZT). Slovenia. 2 ♂, Nanos mts, Strmec, 700 m, 25.v.2001, leg. J. Liška; 1 ♂, Nanos mts, Hribac, 1000 m, 28.v.2000, leg. J. Liška (all NMPC); 1 ♂, Nova Gorica, Sabotin, 450 m,, leg. J. Skyva ( NMPC). Without locality. 1 ♂ ( ZMUC).


Adult. Male (Figs 62-63). Wingspan 13-17 mm. Segment 2 of labial palpus with long scale brush, light brown on outer surface, white mottled with brown on inner surface, white on lower and upper surface; segment 3 white. Antennal scape without pecten; flagellum ringed black and white. Head cream-white; thorax and tegula as forewing. Forewing cream coloured, more or less mottled with yellow and brown-tipped scales; basal part of costa dark; a black dot in fold at ½ and one at end of cell; fringes light grey. Hindwing light grey with concolorous fringes.

Female (Figure 64). Wingspan 12-14 mm. Forewing ellipsoidal with two distinct black spots and some black scales in apex. Hindwing about one-third as broad as in male, with lanceolate apex; whitish grey. Otherwise similar to male.

Variation. The forewing can be more or less mottled with brown-tipped scales, and rarely the veins are whitish. Some specimens have darker scales along the termen. Also the head can be light brown. The tip of segment 3 of the labial palps is sometimes black. M. binotella  furthermore shows some variation in size (see also M. brachypteris  sp.n.) with e.g., two specimens collected simultaneously ranging between 14 and 17 mm wingspan.

Male genitalia (Figure 198). Uncus large, mitre-shaped, apex strongly constricted; gnathos hook moderately slender, apically pointed, about length of uncus, weakly curved; anterior margin of tegumen with broad and shallow U-shaped emargination, teguminal wall with short longitudinal ridge anteriorly; pedunculi of moderate size, suboval; valva stout, basally with small hump, sub-basally with large bulge, distal part slender digitate, about half width of uncus, extending slightly beyond base of uncus, apex rounded; saccular area densely covered with setae, without separated sacculus; posterior margin of vinculum with shallow medial emargination, without distinct lateral humps, vincular sclerite elongated, suboval, with strongly sclerotised posterior edge; saccus moderately large, broadly V-shaped, short, ratio maximum width to length about 1, posterior margin with broadly rounded projections, separated by shallow incision, medial part with furcated sclerotised ridge from posterior margin anterior third of saccus, lateral sclerites approximately 0.8 times length of maximum width of saccus; phallus with strongly inflated globular coecum, with transverse sclerotised band, approximately 2.5 times wider than distal part, distal part moderately stout, approximately 2.5 times length of coecum, sclerotised dorsal ridge weakly S-curved, apex constricted, ductus ejaculatorius with slender interior sclerotisation.

Female genitalia (Figure 277). Papilla analis small, apically rounded; apophysis posterior slender rod-like, 2.2 mm long, with short, bifurcate posterior end and minute sclerotised zone; segment VIII 0.9 mm long, membranous; sub-genital plate with sub-triangular subostial sclerotisation, posteriorly with long, pointed sclerites, extended beyond middle of segment VIII, anteromedially delimiting sub-ovate ostium bursae, anterior margin with rod-like edge connected with apophysis anterior, medially with long and slender sub-triangular projection; apophysis anterior 1.3 mm, slender, rod-like, about length of segment VIII, posteriorly becoming rod-like venula of segment VIII with widened end; colliculum short, sclerotised; ductus bursae gradually widened into sub-ovate and weakly delimited corpus bursae, entire length of ductus and corpus bursae 1.8 mm; signum medium-sized, longitudinal, suboval spiny plate.


Megacraspedus binotella  is characterised by the creamy forewings with two distinct black dots. It resembles well-marked specimens of M. brachypteris  sp. n., a species which usually differs in the whitish veins and the short-winged female. See also M. devorator  sp. n. (p 86). The male genitalia are very similar to M. barcodiellus  sp. n. (see also Figure 201) and M. brachypteris  sp. n. (Figs 199-200) from which they differ in the more slender valva and the shape of the phallus which is less curved than in M. brachypteris  sp. n. and not straight as in M. barcodiellus  sp. n. The female genitalia are very similar to M. brachypteris  sp. n. (Figure 278) and mainly differ in the distinctly longer pointed sclerites of the sub-genital plate.

Molecular data.

BIN BOLD:ACM09062 (n = 5), BIN BOLD:ACW5732 (n = 1), BOLD:ADI7972 (n = 1). Genetically variable species. The intraspecific divergence of the barcode region is large and reflected by 3 BINs with an average distance of 1% and a maximum divergence of 2% in BIN BOLD:ACM09062. The mean intraspecific divergence is 2.2%, with a maximum divergence of 3.8% indicating possible cryptic diversity. The minimum distance to the nearest neighbour M. devorator  sp. n. is 9% (p-dist).


Austria, Czech Republic, Germany (northwards to Rheinland-Pfalz and Hessen) ( Hausenblass 2006: 10), Hungary, northern Italy, south-eastern Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. Megacraspedus binotella  is also listed from Portugal and Spain by Corley (2015: 86) and Vives (2014: 171), respectively. However, it seems very unlikely to us that the eastern European M. binotella  occurs on the Iberian Peninsula. Material from Spain and Portugal is probably based on misidentifications and may refer to the externally similar M. peslieri  sp. n. and/or other similar species.


Early stages are unknown. Piskunov (1981: 989) gives Poa  ( Poaceae  ) as a host plant. The adults have been collected from late April to late June at altitudes up to 1800 m.


Palpula binotella  was described from an unstated number of specimens which Duponchel had received through the insect dealer Parreyss under the name "binotella Fischer de Röslerstamm” (Duponchel 1843). Megacraspedus binotella  was previously attributed to Fischer von Röslerstamm. However, Joannis (1915: 116) stated that the description by Duponchel was published in January 1843, and that of Fischer von Röslerstamm in March 1843. In the legends to the plate in the original description the combination was given as "Lita binotella". The type locality of Palpula binotella  was not stated by Duponchel, but it may well have been Vienna, Austria, from where the type-series of Ypsolophus binotellus  Fischer von Röslerstamm originated.