Agriphila inquinatella
The name Agriphila inquinatella has been misapplied to some related species in the past; see below for details.

Agriphila inquinatella is a small moth
A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moth , with thousands of species yet to be described...

In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of the family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

The Crambidae are the grass moth family of Lepidoptera . They are quite variable in appearance, the nominal subfamily Crambinae taking up closely folded postures on grass-stems where they are inconspicuous, while other subfamilies include brightly coloured and patterned insects which rest in...

. It is found in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, around the Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 area to Turkestan
Turkestan, spelled also as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".The term Turkestan is of Persian origin and has never been in use to denote a single nation. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples...

, and in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 to Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...


Three subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

 are accepted today:
  • Agriphila inquinatella inquinatella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) – most of the range
  • Agriphila inquinatella nevadensis (Caradja, 1910)Sierra Nevada
    Sierra Nevada (Spain)
    The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the region of provinces of Granada and Almería in Spain. It contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3478 m above sea level....

     and presumably elsewhere in Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

  • Agriphila inquinatella elbursella (Zerny, 1939)Alborz
    Alborz , also written as Alburz, Elburz or Elborz, is a mountain range in northern Iran stretching from the borders of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the northwest to the southern end of the Caspian Sea, and ending in the east at the borders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan...

     mountains and presumably elsewhere in the Caucasus region

The adult moths fly between June to September, depending on the location. Their wingspan
The wingspan of an airplane or a bird, is the distance from one wingtip to the other wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about ; and a Wandering Albatross caught in 1965 had a wingspan of , the official record for a living bird.The term wingspan, more technically extent, is...

 is 23–29 mm.

The caterpillar
Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera . They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture...

s feed mainly on Poaceae
The Poaceae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called grasses, although the term "grass" is also applied to plants that are not in the Poaceae lineage, including the rushes and sedges...

 grasses, such as meadow-grass species (Poa) or Sheep's Fescue
Sheep's Fescue
Sheep's Fescue or Sheep Fescue is a species of grass.-General Description:It is a perennial plant sometimes found in acidic ground, for example in the Portlethen Moss, Scotland and mountain pasture, throughout Europe and eastwards across much of Asia; it has also been introduced to North...

 (Festuca ovina). They can be found under pebble
A pebble is a clast of rock with a particle size of 4 to 64 millimetres based on the Krumbein phi scale of sedimentology. Pebbles are generally considered to be larger than granules and smaller than cobbles . A rock made predominantly of pebbles is termed a conglomerate...

s adjacent to their foodplants, suggesting that they feed on the plants' root
In vascular plants, the root is the organ of a plant that typically lies below the surface of the soil. This is not always the case, however, since a root can also be aerial or aerating . Furthermore, a stem normally occurring below ground is not exceptional either...

s. A more unusual foodplant is the Pottiales
Pottiales is an order of mosses in the subclass Dicranidae.-References:***...

 moss Tortula muralis.

Misidentifications involving this species

Apart from the junior synonyms listed, two scientific names have been misapplied to this species in the past:
  • Crambus luteellus, used by J.F. Stephens
    James Francis Stephens
    James Francis Stephens was an English entomologist.-Biography:Stephens was born in Shoreham-by-Sea and studied at Christ's Hospital.He was employed in the Admiralty office, Somerset House, from 1807 to 1845...

     in 1834, W. Wood
    William Wood (zoologist)
    William Wood , was an English zoologist and entomologist. William Wood trained as a surgeon but left the medical profession to become a natural history bookseller, publisher and naturalist....

     in 1839, and S. Bleszynski in 1955 – actually a junior synonym of Pediasia luteella
  • Palparia rorea, used by A.H. Haworth
    Adrian Hardy Haworth
    Adrian Hardy Haworth was an English entomologist, botanist and carcinologist.He was the son of Benjamin Haworth of Haworth Hall...

     in 1811 – actually a lapsus
    A lapsus is an involuntary mistake made while writing or speaking. According to Freud's early psychoanalytic theory, a lapsus represents a missed deed that hides an unconscious desire....

    for Palparia rorella, junior synonym of Chrysocrambus craterellus
    Chrysocrambus craterellus
    Chrysocrambus craterellus is a species of moth of the family Crambidae. It is found in southern Europe and the Middle East.The wingspan is about 20 mm...


In turn, the present species' scientific name was erroneously used for the related moths Pediasia contaminella (by J. Hübner
Jacob Hübner
Jacob Hübner was a German entomologist. He was the author of Sammlung Europäischer Schmetterlinge , a founding work of entomology.-Scientific career:...

 in 1817), Agriphila geniculea
Agriphila geniculea
Agriphila geniculea is a species of moth of the family Crambidae. It is found in Europe and parts of North Africa.The wingspan is 20-26 mm. The moth flies from July to October depending on the location.The larvae feed on various grasses....

(by J.F. Stephens in 1834 and W. Wood in 1839), Pediasia aridella
Pediasia aridella
Pediasia aridella is a species of moth of the family Crambidae. It is found in Europe. There are three recognised subspecies P. aridella aridella, P. aridella caradjella and P. aridella edmontella....

(by P.C. Zeller
Philipp Christoph Zeller
Philipp Christoph Zeller was a German entomologist.Zeller was born at Steinheim Württemberg, two miles from Marbach, the birthplace of Schiller. The family moved to Frankfurt where Philip went to the gymnasium where natural history was not taught. Instead, helped by Alois Metzner, he taught...

 in 1839), and Agriphila brioniella (by A. Caradja in 1910 and A.K. Drenowski
Alexander Kirilow Drenowski
Alexander Kirilow Drenowski was a Bulgarian entomologist who specialised in Lepidoptera.Between 1904 and 1953 Drenowski wrote 77 scientific papers on the butterflies of Bulgaria.His most significant work was on the butterflies of the Bulgarian high mountains Rila , Pirin , Rhodope and Stara...

in 1923).

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