Epicallima icterinella (Mann, 1867) new to Italy (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae)

Epicallima icterinella (Mann, 1867) nueva para Italia (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae)

M. Pinzari
Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Italia

Epicallima icterinella (Mann, 1867) new to Italy (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae)

SHILAP Revista de Lepidopterología, vol. 47, no. 188, pp. 735-738, 2019

Sociedad Hispano-Luso-Americana de Lepidopterología

Received: 18 September 2019

Accepted: 19 October 2019

Published: 30 December 2019

DOI: https://doi.org/10.57065/shilap.505

Abstract: Epicallima icterinella (Mann, 1867), an interesting Oecophoridae species, present only in the Balkan Peninsula and in the islands of Cyprus and Crete, was found for the first time in Italy in Basilicata.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Oecophoridae, Epicallima icterinella, Italy.

Resumen: Epicallima icterinella (Mann, 1867), una interesante especie de la familia Oecophoridae, sólo presente en la Península de los Balcanes y en las islas de Chipre y Creta, se encontró por primera vez en Italia en Basilicata.

Palabras clave: Lepidoptera, Oecophoridae, Epicallima icterinella, Italia.


In the context of an ongoing study on Lepidoptera fauna in Latium, research has been carried out for many years and showed how much the fauna (PINZARI, 2016a; PINZARI, 2018b; PINZARI & PINZARI, 2019a, 2019b, 2019c) and biology (PINZARI & SBORDONI, 2013; PINZARI, 2016b, 2019; PINZARI et al., 2017, 2018a, 2019a, 2019b) of Lepidoptera in central Italy are still scarcely known.

The genus Epicallima included six species in Europe (VAN NIEUKERKEN & KARSHOLT, 2019): E. bruandella (Ragonot, 1889) in central Europe from France to Romania; E. formosella ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775) an Holarctic species, present almost everywhere in Europe, Caucasus, Egypt, Israel, central Asia, USA (LVOVSKY et al., 2016); E. gerasimovi (Lvovsky, 1984) in Russia and eastern palearctic; E. icterinella (Mann, 1867) in Bulgaria, Croatia, former Jugoslavia, Cyprus, Greek mainland, Kriti and Near East (LVOVSKY et al., 2016); E. mercedella (Staudinger, 1859) in Portugal and Spain; E. mikkolai (Lvovsky, 1995) in Spain and North Africa (VIVES MORENO, 2003).

In Italy two species are present: E. formosella, quoted generically in the North, in the South, in Sardinia and in Sicily (BALDIZZONE et al., 1995) and also recorded in Sila in Calabria (LEONETTI et al., 2018); E. bruandella in Alto Adige (South Tyrol), Piemonte and Emilia Romagna (TOKAR et al., 2005; BALDIZZONE et al., 2013).

In recent times, research activity has also been extended to the South of Italy and to the Islands with results (PINZARI & PINZARI, 2019) which lead to a further attention. This paper illustrates a first result of the survey campaign carried out in Basilicata in July 2019: the finding of Epicallima icterinella (Mann, 1867).

Materials and methods

Collecting site: The survey on Lepidoptera fauna in South of Italy was carried out on 8-14 July 2019 at Marina di Pisticci (MT) both on the coastal dune and in the cultivated areas in the surrounding of Masseria Macchia Relais San Pio & Marina. Moths were light-trapped by Mixed Light 160 W lamp mounted in fixed sites with electricity available.

Species identification: The moth species was identified by external habitus using the taxonomic characters reported by PARENTI (2000) and TOKAR et al. (2005).


Epicallima icterinella (Mann, 1867)

Record: ITALY, Basilicata, Marina di Pisticci (MT), at sea level, 1 , 6-VII-2019, Manuela and Mario Pinzari leg.

Notes: The specimen is a male with a fresh appearance (fig. 1). It was attracted by lux at 10 P. M. within an area mainly cultivated with citrus groves some kilometres away from the coastal dune.

Biology: Larvae probably feed under the bark of old trees from summer to spring of the following year, with hibernation (SPULER, 1910; TOKAR et al., 2005; LVOVSKY et al., 2016). Adults are on the wing from mid-May until August.

Epicallima icterinella (Mann 1867) 1, front and back; wingspan 12 mm.
Fig. 1.–
Epicallima icterinella (Mann 1867) 1, front and back; wingspan 12 mm.


The habitus of E. icterinella allows a certain distinction with respect to E. formosella and E. bruandella (TOKAR et al., 2005), both present in Italy. Comparing icterinellawith other European species the species determination is based on the following features: E. mercedella has a very similar wing pattern, but the wing drawing is margined by white colour, and also the head and prothorax are white; on the contrary, in icterinella the head and protorax are brown; E. gerasimovi has a similar wing pattern but different at the basal area on upper surface of the forewings (LVOVSKY, 1984); E. mikkolai has a wing pattern substantially different from E. icterinella (VIVES MORENO, 2003).


The collecting site of E. icterinella represents the westernmost finding of the species. The freshness of the specimen let us think that it emerged locally and not came from Greece or the eastMediterranean islands but we cannot exclude this possibility. The microlepidoptera fauna of the South of Italy and especially Basilicata are still relatively little known, except for some sites, mainly in the mountains, where research has also been focused in the past, especially on macrolepidoptera. More recent research conducted by Scalercio and others has been showed or confirmed in the South of Italy the occurrence of species present in the Balkan peninsula and in the near east. For example, Phycita imperialella (Ragonot, 1887) was recorded at Mt Pollino (SCALERCIO et al., 2016) confirming its presence in Italy previously reported in Lazio with a single specimen by PINZARI et al. (2010); Pempelia amoenella (Zeller, 1848) at the Ionian coast of Calabria (SCALERCIO et al., 2014); and, Wegneria panchalcella (Staudinger, 1871) in Basilicata (BASSI & NEL, 2015) and at the Fiumara Amendolea mouth in Calabria (BALDIZZONE & SCALERCIO, 2018). From the coastal areas but not only, we expect new surprises: dedicated investigations would be needed.


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