Belongs within: Glossata.Contains: Nepticulidae, Adeloidea, Ditrysia. The Heteroneura are a major clade of Lepidoptera, basally characterised by the coupling of the fore and hind wings though this has been lost in some derived subgroups. The frenulum, comprising one or more bristles arising from the humeral angle of the hind wing, is held in place by… Continue reading Heteroneura


Belongs within: Panorpoidea.Contains: Selidosemidae, Trifidae, Micropterigidae, Glossata. The Lepidoptera are the moths and butterflies, one of the most familiar groups of insects. The name ‘Lepidoptera’ means ‘scaly wings’, referring to the most distinctive feature of the group, an extensive covering of scales on the wings and body. In basal forms, these scales are solid structures… Continue reading Lepidoptera


Belongs within: Heteroneura.Contains: Tineidae, Apoditrysia, Yponomeutoidea, Gracillariidae, Lyonetiidae, Psychinae. The Ditrysia are a major clade of Lepidoptera accounting for some 98% of the species of the order. They are characterised by female genitalia with an internal connection between the copulatory opening and ovipore, as well as by large apodemes on the second abdominal sternite and… Continue reading Ditrysia

Categorised as Ditrysia


Belongs within: Heteroneura. The Adeloidea are a group of small moths of which larvae include leaf-miners, gall-makers or internal borers of plants. Members include the Adelidae which have the longest antennae relative to body size of any Lepidoptera (Nielsen & Common 1991). The Cecidosidae, known from South Africa, South America and New Zealand, mostly develop… Continue reading Adeloidea

Categorised as Adeloidea


Belongs within: Ditrysia.Contains: Yponomeutinae. The Yponomeutoidea are a group of mostly small moths, the larvae of which bore in stems or leaves of plants. Ocelli are present in Plutellidae and Glyphipterygidae but absent in Argyresthiidae and Yponomeutidae. Glyphipterygidae have a pattern of light and dark bars on the labial palps and often shining metallic coloration.… Continue reading Yponomeutoidea


Belongs within: Ditrysia.Contains: Tinea. The Tineidae are a group of small to medium-sized moths that rest with the body flat and the wings tented, and often tend to run when disturbed rather than fly. They are characterised by a more or less vestigial proboscis and antennae with a single row of scales on each segment.… Continue reading Tineidae

Categorised as Tineidae


Belongs within: Ditrysia. The Gracillariidae are very small moths with long antennae and long fringes on the hind wings. Larvae are typically leaf- or gall-miners though they may emerge in later instars (Nielsen & Common 1991). Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Very small, slender; head usually smooth scaled; ocelli and chaetosemata absent; antennae nearly… Continue reading Gracillariidae


Belongs within: Lepidoptera.Contains: Heteroneura, Exoporia. The Glossata are the clade of Lepidoptera in which the mouthparts have become modified into a long coiled proboscis (though this has been lost in various subgroups). The proboscis also bears intrinsic musculature conveying greater mobility in members of the Neopseustidae, Exoporia and Heteroneura though such musculature is absent in… Continue reading Glossata


Belongs within: Glossata.Contians: Hepialidae. The Exoporia are a relatively small but morphologically diverse group of moths, varying from the small Mnesarchaea to the large ghost moths of the Hepialidae. The group is supported by a number of morphological synapomorphies including a female genital system with separate egg-laying and copulatory openings with sperm transferred externally along… Continue reading Exoporia

Categorised as Exoporia


Belongs within: Lepidoptera. The Micropterigidae are a cosmopolitan group of mandibulate moths characterised by the presence of multibranched sensilla on the antennal flagella. Larvae feed on ground-level vegetation such as liverworts or the lower leaves of grasses and other herbaceous plants (Nielsen & Common 1991). Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Small; head with raised… Continue reading Micropterigidae