Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A new grass-miner moth: Chrysoclista germanica

The Elachistidae (grass-miner moths) are small to very small moths with wingspans of 1 cm or less. Their wings appear feather-like due to the fine hair covering the wings' fringes, and the hind wings can be much smaller than the front wings essentially consisting of a small strip with a wide hairy fringe. The caterpillars of these moths are - as their common name says - leaf miners or stem miners on grasses. 

There are about 800 species in this family and a new one from Germany was just added to the long list. Chrysoclista germanica was named after the country of origin. 

For the experts: Chrysoclista germanica sp. nov. is described from Germany (Thuringia, Bad Blankenburg). Chrysoclista gabretica Ĺ umpich, 2012 stat. nov., originally described as subspecies of C. abchasica Sinev, 1986, is elevated to species level. Both taxonomic acts are based on the study of morphological characters of the adults (males). Photographs of voucher specimens including genitalia structures are given.

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