Order Lepidoptera, family Nepticulidae

Publication Type:Book Chapter
Year of Publication:2010
Authors:E. J. van Nieukerken
Editor:A. van Harten
Book Title:Arthropod Fauna of the United Arab Emirates, volume 3
Publisher:Dar Al Ummah
City:Abu Dhabi
Keywords:Acalyptris galinae, Acalyptris gielisi, Acalyptris psammophricta, Acalyptris repeteki, Faunistics, Insecta, Keys, Lepidoptera, Nepticulidae, New species, Stigmella birgittae, Stigmella xystodes, UAE

The Nepticulidae are a family of about 800 named species of very small moths (wingspan lessthan 10 mm), of which the larvae make leaf-mines, stem-mines or rarely galls. The family ispoorly known from the desert regions in Northern Africa and the Middle East, but relativelywell known from Central Asian deserts (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia), thanks to thework of R. Puplesis and students (summarised in Puplesis, 1994). The family was previouslyhardly known from the Arabian Peninsula, except for four species, recently described fromnorthern Oman (Puplesis & Diškus, 2003). Here the family is recorded for the first time fromthe UAE, with seven species, two in Stigmella Schrank, 1802, and five in Acalyptris Meyrick,1921, of which one is described as new. Except for S. birgittae Gustafsson, 1985, thesespecies are also new for the Arabian Peninsula. Because some of the recorded species areactually rather common and widespread in the desert regions of North Africa and Asia, butvirtually unknown in the literature, several unpublished records and synonymies of thesespecies are presented here and they are redescribed. In this way the family Nepticulidae is notonly recorded for the first time from the UAE, but also from Libya, Sudan, Egypt, SaudiArabia and Pakistan.Stigmella omani Puplesis & Diškus, 2003, is synonymised with S. birgittae Gustafsson, 1985,S. ziziphivora Gustafsson, 1985, is synonymised with S. zizyphi Walsingham, 1911. The latterdoes not occur in the UAE, but is compared with the closely related S. birgittae. Nepticulaliochalca Meyrick, 1916, and N. homophaea Meyrick, 1918, are both synonymised withStigmella xystodes (Meyrick, 1916), all three described from India; this species is herereported new for many countries in the North-African-Asian warm eremic region.In Acalyptris, A. lvovskyi (Puplesis, 1984) is synonymised with the type species A.psammophricta Meyrick, 1921. Acalyptris gielisi is described as new; it is very close to theSouth African A. lanneivora (Vári, 1955). From a fifth species of Acalyptris, only one femalehas been collected. It is described, but not named here.The seven recorded species probably only represent a small portion of the actual fauna, whichcould best be studied additionally by searching for stem- and leaf-mines on potentialhostplants. The genera Trifurcula Zeller, 1848, and Ectoedemia Busck, 1907, are also likelyto occur here.DNA sequences of several specimens were used in addition to morphological characters fordecisions on species identities, in particular for associating males and females. The results ofthe barcoding gene CO1 are discussed at the end of this chapter.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith