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First record of Dahlica lichenella (Linnaeus, 1761) for Spain (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

Primer registro de Dahlica lichenella (Linnaeus, 1761) para España (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

W. R. Arnscheid

First record of Dahlica lichenella (Linnaeus, 1761) for Spain (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

SHILAP Revista de Lepidopterología, vol. 44, no. 173, 2016

Sociedad Hispano-Luso-Americana de Lepidopterología

Received: 26 June 2015

Accepted: 25 July 2015

Published: 30 March 2016

Abstract: The psychid species Dahlica lichenella (LINNAEUS, 1761) is reported for the first time for Spain and the Iberian Peninsula from the environment of Benasque (Huesca).

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Psychidae, distribution, Pyrenees, Spain.

Resumen: Se registra por primera vez para España y para la Península Ibérica el psíquido Dahlica lichenella (Linnaeus, 1761) de los alrededores de Benasque (Huesca).

Palabras clave: Lepidoptera, Psychidae, distribución, Pirineos, España.

Dahlica lichenella (Linnaeus, 1761) is one of the most widely distributed psychid species in Europe. Of this species a sexual and a parthenogenetic form exist. Especially the parthenenogenetic form is widespread from France eastwards to Ukraine and Russia. In southern Europe it is very rare and only known from scattered colonies in southern France, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania (ARNSCHEID, 2004, SAUTER & HÄTTENSCHWILER, 1996, SOBCZYK, 2011). Recently it has been recorded from Greece (WEIDLICH, 2013) and this record represented the southernmost populations of the species. No reliable records are known from the major part of the Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula (VIVES MORENO, 1994, CORLEY et al., 2013).

Beside the widespread nominotypical parthenogenetic form a sexual form also exists which is very locally distributed in Central and northern Europe eastwards to the Ural Mountains.

In the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 the author visited several times the environment of Benasque in the Pyrenees of Aragon (Huesca). Along the road into the small valley of Ballibierna he collected several larval cases of the parthenogenetic Dahlica lichenella. At the end of May only females hatched from the cases and began immediately to lay eggs into the cases. A few days later the young larvae hatched.

The cases were attached to rocks and stones beside the road in the coniferous belt between 1400 and 1600 m. They share their habitat f.e. with the psychid species Dahlica triquetrella (Hübner, [1813]) f. parthenogenetic, Pseudobankesia casaella Hättenschwiler, 1994 and Apterona nylanderi (Wehrli, 1927). Figures 2 to 4 show the difference between the cases of D. lichenella and D. triquetrella which occur syntop and synchron in the mentioned habitat. The case of D. triquetrella is characterized by debris of small dead insects covered towards the fore-end. Figure 1 show a female of D. lichenella after maceration in 20 % KOH to examine the genital structure.

Dahlica lichenella (Linnaeus, 1761).
Figs. 1-3.– 1-2.
Dahlica lichenella (Linnaeus, 1761).

1. Female, 2. Larval case, 3. Dahlica triquetrella (Hübner,[1813]). Larval case.


ARNSCHEID, W., 2004. Fauna Europaea: Psychidae.– In O. KARSHOLT & E. J. VAN NIEUKERKEN (eds.). Fauna Europaea: Lepidoptera, Moths. Version 1.1. Available from .

CORLEY, M. F. V., MERCKX, T., MARABUTO, E. M., ARNSCHEID, W. & MARAVALHAS, E., 2013.– New and interesting Portuguese Lepidoptera records from 2012 (Insecta: Lepidoptera).– SHILAP Revista de lepidopterología, 41(164): 449-477.

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SOBCZYK, T., 2011.– Psychidae (Lepidoptera).– In M. NUSS (ed.). World Catalogue of Insects, 10: 467 pp. Apollo books, Stenstrup.

VIVES MORENO, A., 1994.– Catálogo sistemático y sinonímico de los lepidópteros de la Península Ibérica y Baleares (Insecta: Lepidoptera) (Segunda parte): 774 pp. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, Madrid.

WEIDLICH, M., 2013.– Zur Schmetterlingsfauna des Pangéo in Griechisch-Mazedonien mit Beschreibung von Dahlica pangeoensis nov. sp. und Bemerkungen zur Köcherfliegenfauna (Lepidoptera, Trichoptera).– Linzer Biologische Beiträge, 45(1): 945-969.

Author notes

Im Ostholz 58 D-44879 Bochum ALEMANIA / GERMANY E-mail:

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