Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. from Northern Spain (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. del norte de España (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

T. Sobczyk
A. Werno

Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. from Northern Spain (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

SHILAP Revista de lepidopterología, vol. 49, núm. 194, pp. 235-257, 2021

Sociedad Hispano-Luso-Americana de Lepidopterología

Received: 20 August 2020

Accepted: 02 September 2020

Published: 30 June 2021

Abstract: A new Psychidae, Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. is described from Northern Spain. This is the first species of this genus known from the Iberian Peninsula. The differences to Reisseronia (Reisseronia) tarnierella (Bruand, 1850), the species with the largest and most western distribution in Europe, are shown. Above all, the broader scales on the fore wings characterize R. (R.) hellersi compared to R. (R.) tarnierella. In addition, an overview of European Reisseronia species is given.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Psychidae, Reisseronia, new species, Spain.

Resumen: Se describe del norte de España una especie nueva de Psychidae, Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. Esta es la primera especie conocida del género en la Península Ibérica. Se muestran las diferencias con Reisseronia (Reisseronia) tarnierella (Bruand, 1850), la especie con la distribución más amplia y occidental en Europa. Sobre todo, las escamas más anchas sobre los alas anteriores caracterizan a R. (R.) hellersi comparada con R. (R.) tarnierella. Además, se da una visión general de especies europeas de Reisseronia.

Palabras clave: Lepidoptera, Psychidae, Reisseronia, nueva especie, España.


A determination transmits to the first author included, among others Psychidae, a Reisseronia species from Spain. It has already been suspected that it is an undescribed species since the genus was unknown from the Iberian Peninsula. At a first glance, the males are different to Reisseronia (Reisseronia) tarnierella (Bruand, 1850), the most widespread species. Eventually, a review of all the known species of Reisseronia revealed that these specimens belong to a so far undescribed species, which is described in this paper.

Material and methods

The genitalia slides were made according to standard procedures. After examination, the genitalia and antennae were mounted separately on a microscope slide and were embedded in Euparal.

Photos of genitalia and antennae were taken by a Bresser LCD microscope. Photograph of specimen were taken with a Canon EOS 600D and objective Canon MP-E 65 mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro.

The terminology of morphological characters follows SAUTER (1956) and SAUTER & HÄTTENSCHWILER (1999).

Interocular Index: vertical eye diameter divided by interocular distance measured just above the level on the tentorial pits.


CTS Collection Thomas Sobczyk (Germany)

GU genital preparation

MNCN Collection Antonio Vives / Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid (Spain)

MNHN Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle, Luxemburg (Luxemburg).

ZfBS Center for Biodocumentation Landsweiler-Reden of the Saarland (Germany)


Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. (Figs 1-2, 3c, d, 4)

1-2. Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. ♂: 1. Holotype. 2. Antennae paratype (scale 1.0 mm). 3. Forewing scales between apical discal cell and termen, forewing fringes between veins r3 and m2+m3: Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. a. scales, b. fringes; Reisseronia (Reisseronia) tarnierella (Bruand, 1850) c. scales, d. fringes. 4.Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. genitalia paratype (GU 139-2020 Sobczyk) (scale 0.5 mm).
Figs 1-4.
1-2. Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. ♂: 1. Holotype. 2. Antennae paratype (scale 1.0 mm). 3. Forewing scales between apical discal cell and termen, forewing fringes between veins r3 and m2+m3: Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. a. scales, b. fringes; Reisseronia (Reisseronia) tarnierella (Bruand, 1850) c. scales, d. fringes. 4.Reisseronia (Reisseronia) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. genitalia paratype (GU 139-2020 Sobczyk) (scale 0.5 mm).

Type material Holotype (Fig. 1) ♂: SPAIN, Castilla y León, [León], Sabero, 1200 m, 05-XI-2001, leg. M. Hellers, deposited in the MNCN. Paratypes: 3 ♂♂, same data (CTS, MNHN, ZfBS).

Description (n=4): Forewing length 3.5 mm. Wingspan 7.1-8.1 mm. Basic colouring monochrome black brown. Eyes dark grey, round, interocular index 0.65. Ocelli missing. Head hair black-brown, labial palps reduced, one-segmented, densely covered with hair like, downward, black brown (distally lighter) scales with length of twice the eye diameter. Antennae (Fig. 2) length 2.0 mm, longer than half the length of forewings (3.5 mm), a total of 17 to 18 segments. Scapus and pedicellus closely scaly, the other segments only dorsally with scales, ventrally with cilia. Scales wide, in addition to black-brown scales there are lighter brown scales. Ventrally antenna combs with cilia, which a length of 2.5 to three times the diameter of the comb teeth. The comb teeth reach in the area of the 7th-10th antennal segment almost 2.5 to three times the length of the associated antennal segment. Forewings broad, monochrome black-brown coloured, without drawings. Cover scales relatively broad, mostly two-pointed (mostly class II, occasionally class III according to SAUTER, 1956), mixed with few longer and hair-shaped scales (Fig. 3c). Forewing eight unstalked veins from the discal cell, this divided by media stem. A small intercalary cell is partly pronounced, accessory cell absent. Fringes brown-grey, ventrally partly longer, and whitish, lanceolate multi-pointed, correspond to class 2 b according HAUSER (2012) (Fig. 3d). Hindwings coloured how forewings, five unstalked veins from the discal cell. Hind wing with narrower scales, distally mostly rounded, rarely two-pointed. Fringe scales lancet-shaped, but narrower than those of the forewing fringes. Body densely covered with black-brown hair-shaped scales. Fore tibia without epiphysis, midlegs and hindlegs with apical tibial spurs.

Male genitalia (Fig. 4): GU 139-2020 Sobczyk, length 0.65 mm, typical of Reisseronia, rhomboid. Valvae curved, protrude beyond the rear edge of the tegumen. Tegumen laterally almost straight, distally rounded. Vinculum broad, mediolaterally slightly arched, saccus only hinted at. Phallus 0.35 mm, thick, stretched, median somewhat narrower.

Female and larval cases unknown.

Biology: Marcel Hellers (in litt.): “According to my notes, I caught the males in the morning on a dry grass that was grazed by sheep and goats and didn’t look interesting. Only a few species flew here, I only have two types of Tortricidae in the collection from this location: Cnephasia alticolana (Herrich-Schäfer, 1851) and Phtheochroa frigidana (Guenée, 1845), which is common in places in this area. Unfortunately, I had not noted any other Tortricidae that I might have observed. There was surface water in places (certainly from a long downpour), but the ground at the roadside was very dry. Knud Larsen and I stayed at this location for only a short time, because at second glance it was uninteresting.”

Distribution: At present R. (R.) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. is known only from the type locality. Its occurrence can be also expected at other parts of Northern Spain. The small species that flies during the day can easily be overlooked. The females are certainly wingless, and the larval cases are likely to be on the ground in the vegetation and are barely longer than one centimetre. The habitat has no peculiarities and is grazed by sheep and goats. The discovery at the foothills of the Cantabrian Mountain range and the altitude could be evidence that this species an endemic of this mountain range. For example, a large number of endemic plant species are known from the region (LOIDI etal., 2012).

Etymology: Named after Marcel Hellers (Luxemburg). Together with Knud Larsen (Denmark) he discovered this new species.

Diagnosis: Small, evenly dark coloured species with broad forewing scales. Wingspan 7.1-8.1 mm, male genitalia rhomboid.


So far seventeen Reisseronia species / subspecies are known. Reisseronia flavociliella (Mann, 1864) occurs exclusively in Asia and has been described from Turkey (Brussa) (SOBCZYK, 2011). The other species have a European distribution. Most species are endemic with a small distribution area. The genus Reisseronia Sieder, 1956 sensu stricto, included thirteen and the subgenus Tsikalasia Hauser, 1996 four species. Reisseronia s. str. are characterized by the absence of an epiphysis on the tibia of the forelegs, so that Reisseronia (Tsikalasia) malickyi Hauser, 1996, Reisseronia (Tsikalasia) tschetverikovi Solyanikov, 1990, Reisseronia (Tsikalasia) muscualutum Kurz, Kurz & Zeller-Lukashort, 2006 and Reisseronia (Tsikalasia) satanella Kurz, Kurz & ZellerLukashort, 2006 can be excluded. Within the subgenus Reisseronia there are three species parthenogenetic: Reisseronia (Reisseronia) gertrudae Sieder, 1962, Reisseronia (Reisseronia) imielinella Malkiewicz, Sobczyk & Larysz, 2013 and Reisseronia (Reisseronia) annae Larysz, 2017. Furthermore species can be characterized by the greater number of antennal segments (more as 18): Reisseronia (Reisseronia) staudingeri (Heylaerts, 1879), Reisseronia (Reisseronia) magna Hättenschwiler, 1982, Reisseronia (Reisseronia) arnscheidi Weidlich, 2006, Reisseronia (Reisseronia) ionica ionica Weidlich, 2016, Reisseronia (Reisseronia) odysseus Weidlich, 2016 and Reisseronia (Reisseronia) ionica lefkadensis Weidlich, 2016. The new species is most similar to the following species. Reisseronia (Reisseronia) pusillella (Rebel, 1949), endemic to the Balkans, has very narrow scales on fore wings, which are usually two-pointed. They are mixed with hair-shaped scales. Reisseronia (Reisseronia) nigrociliella (Rebel, 1934), also a Balkan endemite, has a larger wingspan. Similarities also exist to the type species Reisseronia (Reisseronia) tarnierella (Bruand, 1850). According to previous knowledge, Reisseronia (Reisseronia) tarnierella (Bruand, 1850) was the species whose distribution extends the furthest to Western Europa. It differs from this by the wing span (tarnierella 6-7 mm, hellersi sp. n. 7-8 mm) and by the significantly wider scales of the forewings (Fig. 3a, b). For R. (R.) tarnierella it is stated that it is a species of the plains (0-300 m) and the males emerged at midday (WEIDLICH 2006). R. (R.) hellersi Sobczyk & Werno, sp. n. was collected in the morning and observed at an altitude of 1200 m.

Table 1.
Overview of Reisseronia species (males) (after ARNSCHEID & WEIDLICH 2017; WEIDLICH 2016, own knowledge).
Overview of Reisseronia species (males) (after ARNSCHEID & WEIDLICH 2017; WEIDLICH 2016, own knowledge).


We thank the two collectors of the new species, Marcel Hellers (Luxemburg) and Knud Larsen (Dyssegaard, Denmark), for much information and for making the material available.


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Notas de autor

*Autor para la correspondencia / Corresponding

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