Triangle plume Platyptilia gonodactyla, copyright Ilia Ustyantsev.

Belongs within: Obtectomera.

The Pterophoridae, plume moths, are a group of small moths in which the hind wings are usually deeply cleft into three plumes. However, the fore and hind wings are both undivided in members of the subfamily Agdistinae (Nielsen & Common 1991).

Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Small; head usually smooth-scaled; ocelli and chaetosemata absent; antennae filiform; proboscis unsealed; maxillary palps minute, one-segmented; labial palps slender or stout, porrect or upturned; legs long, slender; epiphysis present; spurs 0-2-4, prominent; hind tibiae sometimes with specialised scaling; fore wing divided by terminal clefts into two or three plumes, rarely four plumes, or entire; with complex wing-folding mechanism, pterostigma sometimes present, wing-locking microtrichia absent, chorda and M absent in cell, one branch of R often absent, M1 and M2 weak or absent, CuP usually present, 1A+2A without fork; hind wing deeply cleft into three plumes, rarely entire, underside with double series of specialised scales along M3 and CuA2 or CuA1, CuP absent, female frenulum of one or two bristles; abdomen long and slender, tympanal organs absent. Eggs of flat type, oval, smooth. Larva usually with numerous secondary, often modified setae, sometimes on verrucae, prothorax with 3 L setae, ventral prolegs long, crochets uniordinal in mesoseries or mesal penellipse; larvae usually leaf-mining at first, later exposed, eroding surface of leaves or burrowing in flower buds or in stems. Pupa slender, smooth or spined, often with numerous setae on head, thorax and abdomen, pilifers present; fully exposed, attached by hooked setae on underside of abdominal segments 9 and 10.

    |  i. s.: Exelastis atomosaB88
    |         Buckleria paludumRD77
    |    |--Ochyrotica kurandicaNC91
    |    |--Agdistopis halieuticaNC91
    |    `--Agdistis staticisRD77
    |    |--Lantanophaga pusillidactylaKP19
    |    `--+--Emmelina monodactylaKP19
    |       `--PterophorusKP19
    |            |--P. albodactylusR26
    |            |--P. aptalisNC91
    |            |--P. didactylusL02
    |            |--P. megadactylusR26
    |            |--P. oligocenicus Bigot et al. 1986RJ93
    |            |--P. pentadactylaKP19 [=Aciptilia pentadactylaH04]
    |            `--P. rhododactylus [=Cnaemidophorus rhododactylus]H04
         |--Cosmoclostis aglaodesmaNC91, ZS10
         |--Stangeia xerodesNC91
         |    |--S. lithoxestaP27
         |    `--S. zophodactylaNC91
         |    |--S. anisodactylusNC91
         |    `--S. cafferP27
         |    |--T. adelphodesP27
         |    |--T. pyrrhodes Meyrick 1890M90
         |    `--T. wahlbergiC70
              |--P. acanthodactylaM38
              |--P. aeolodesL27
              |--P. falcatalisP27
              |--P. gonodactylaP01
              `--P. omissalisNC91

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[C70] Common, I. F. B. 1970. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 765–866. Melbourne University Press.

[H04] Haeckel, E. 1899–1904. Kunstformen der Natur. Bibliographisches Institut: Leipzig und Wien.

[KP19] Kawahara, A. Y., D. Plotkin, M. Espeland, K. Meusemann, E. F. A. Toussaint, A. Donath, F. Gimnich, P. B. Frandsen, A. Zwick, M. dos Reis, J. R. Barber, R. S. Peters, S. Liu, X. Zhou, C. Mayer, L. Podsiadlowski, C. Storer, J. E. Yack, B. Misof & J. W. Breinholt. 2019. Phylogenomics reveals the evolutionary timing and pattern of butterflies and moths. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 116 (45): 22657–22663.

[L02] Latreille, P. A. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes vol. 3. Familles naturelles des genres. F. Dufart: Paris.

[L27] Lindsay, S. 1927. A list of the Lepidoptera of Deans Bush, Riccarton, Canterbury. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 693–696.

[M90] Meyrick, E. 1890. Descriptions of additional Australian Pyralidina. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 4 (4): 1105–1116.

[M38] Muesebeck, C. F. W. 1938. Three new reared species of Apanteles from California (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 40 (7): 201–204.

[NC91] Nielsen, E. S., & I. F. B. Common. 1991. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 817–915. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[P01] Pável, J. 1901. Lepkék [Lepidopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 171–177. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[P27] Philpott, A. 1927. The maxillae in the Lepidoptera. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 721–746.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms’ General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[R26] Risso, A. 1826. Histoire naturelle des principales productions de l’Europe méridionale et particulièrement de celles des environs de Nice et des Alpes maritimes vol. 5. F.-G. Levrault: Paris.

[RJ93] Ross, A. J., & E. A. Jarzembowski. 1993. Arthropoda (Hexapoda; Insecta). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 363–426. Chapman & Hall: London.

[ZS10] Zborowski, P., & R. Storey. 2010. A Field Guide to Insects in Australia 3rd ed. Reed New Holland: Sydney.

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