Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Malta (2009) Vol. 2 : 21-23
Coptotriche marginea (Haworth, 1828), a new record for the Maltese Islands (Lepidoptera: Tischeriidae) Michael ZERAFA1 ABSTRACT. Coptotriche marginea is recorded for the first time from the Maltese Islands. A short description of the species, distribution, habitat type of the adult and larval food plant are included. KEY WORDS. Lepidoptera, Tischeriidae, Coptotriche marginea, Maltese Islands, new record. INTRODUCTION The Tischeriidae, represents a small family of micro-moths with some 80 described species, of which more than half occur in the Nearctic Region. In the Palaearctic Region, 19 species of Tischeriidae have been recorded (Heppner, 1991). The family is known also from India and Africa (Watson & Whalley, 1983). In Europe the family is represented with 12 species in two genera, Tischeria Zeller, 1839 having four species and Coptotriche Walsingham, 1890 having 8 species (Karsholt & Nieukerken, 2004). The genus Tischeria is distributed in Europe and temperate Asia (Watson & Whalley, 1983) whereas Coptotriche is only known from Europe. To-date, the only Maltese tischeriid record was that for Emmetia angusticollella (Duponchel, 1843) (Sammut, 2000), which has now been transferred to the genus Coptotriche following Puplesis & Diskus (2003). The present work provides information on a further species which data is included here under.
Coptotriche marginea (Haworth, 1828) Material Examined: MALTA: Mosta, Wied il-Għasel, 31.iii.2001, 1 ex., collected by beating vegetation, same data but 10.iv.2006, 1 ex., same data but 4.iii.2007, same data but 1 ex., 12.iii.2007, same data but 1 ex., 18.iii.2007, same data but 1 ex. (all ex-larva collected on Rubus ulmifolius Schott.). All the above mentioned material was collected by the author and date indicates emergence of the adults.
Short description: Adult (Fig. 1) with a wing span of 7 - 8 mm. Fore wing brownish yellow, with a purplish fuscous, coarsely scaled suffusion along the costa that widens towards the apex, and along the termen. Sometimes with a purplish fuscous dot on the tornus. Cilia yellowish brown on the termen and dark purplish along the costa and part of the dorsum. Hind wing dark grey, cilia grey with yellowish brown reflections. The head has a frontal yellow tuft. The antennae are almost as long as the wings, of a leaden metallic colour. The thorax is ochreous yellow. 1
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Figure 1 - Coptotriche marginea. Figure 2 - Leaf-mine of C. marginea on Rubus. Distribution: This moth is known from all over Europe except Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Norway and Belarus. It is also known from most of the Mediterranean islands including Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Cyprus, Dodecanese and the North Aegean Islands. Outside Europe it is also found in Iran and North Africa (Emmet, 1983). Biology: The female lays an egg on the upper side of a leaf (Emmet, 1983). The larva mines the leaves and a curved white gallery is produced. A small hole is present at the beginning of this gallery from where frass is ejected. The mine then broadens to become a brown blotch with a silk lined tunnel through the centre, where the larva rests when not feeding (Emmet, 1983). Sometimes due to the presence of the mine the leaf folds. The larva pupates inside the mine (Fig. 2), normally at one of the ends. The pupa wriggles half way outside of the mine before emerging. In Malta, larvae were collected from Rubus ulmifolius. Elsewhere the species is known to feed on Rubus spp. (Emmet, 1983). On the continent, the species is on the wing in May and July (Emmet, 1983). Locally it seems to fly between March and April. Acknowledgements I would like to thank Profs. Jonas R. Stonis of the Vilnius Pedagogical University, Lithuania for confirming the identity of the species, and Mr Paul Sammut of Rabat, Malta for his assistance. References Emmet, A.M. (1983) Tischeriidae. pp. 272 â€“ 276. In: Heath, J. [ed.] The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol 1. Harley Books. 343 pp. Heppner, J.B. (1991) Faunal Regions and the Diversity of Lepidoptera. Tropical Lepidoptera. Vol.2 (Suppl.1.): 1-85. Karsholt, O. & van Nieukerken, E.J. (2004) Fauna Europaea: Tischeriidae. Lepidoptera. Fauna Europaea version 1.1, http://www.faunaeur.org. Puplesis, R. & Diskus, A. (2003). The Nepticuloidea and Tischerioidea (Lepidoptera) â€“ a Global Review with Strategic Regional Revisions. Apollo books. 512 pp. Sammut, P. (2000) Il-Lepidoptera. Kullana Kulturali, 12. Publikazzjonijiet Indipendenza, Malta. 246 pp.