Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


~ Gelechiidae.

Adults small; relatively long-bodied; medium built (wingspan more than 8 and less than 15 times the thoracic width); wings in repose packed with the forewings directed backwards to cover hindwings and abdomen.

Head rough to smooth (smooth in front and rather rough behind, in O. quadripuncta). Antennae long (rather thick); extending to about 1 times the length of the forewing. Antennae of males simple; non-ciliate. The antennal scape with a pecten to without a pecten (the pecten very slight, fugitive); not forming an ‘eye cap’. Ocelli absent. Chaetosemata absent (?). Maxillary palps well developed, or much reduced; 4 segmented (?); folded (?). Labial palps well developed; ascending; 3 segmented. Proboscis fully developed; scaly towards the base.

Wingspan 12–16 mm; about 11–14 times the thoracic width. Forewings narrow; about 3.6 times as long as wide. Tornus undetectable. The outer margin convexly curved; forewings apically blunt to pointed; ground colour predominantly blackish fuscous, or whitish sprinkled black and fuscous in Symmoca. Hindwings neither unusually narrow-elongate nor especially long-fringed; trapezoidal; similar in breadth to the forewings; fairly with a pointed apex. The fringe of the hindwings 1–2 times the width of the membrane (longer than it). The upper surfaces plain; with neither discal spot nor transverse lines; hindwings with a frenulum.

Neuration of forewings and hindwings dissimilar. Forewings 12 veined; with 1 anal vein. The anal veins of the forewings representing 1b only. Forewings lacking a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the forewings furcate proximally. Forewings with a discal cell. The transverse vein complete. Discal cell of the forewings without a tubular media (M) vein. Hindwings 10 veined; with 3 anal veins. The anal veins of the hindwings comprising 1a, 1b and 1c. Hindwings exhibiting vein 1a; exhibiting a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the hindwings simple. Hindwings with a discal cell. The transverse vein complete. 6 veins arising from the hindwing cell. The cell-derived hindwing veins 3+4 proximally joined and 6+7 proximally joined. Veins 6 and 7 of the hindwings not parallel. Vein 8 of the hindwings completely independent of the cell; not approximating to vein 7.

Fore-legs with a tibial epiphysis. Tibiae of middle legs 2-spurred. Posterior tibiae 4-spurred; hairy.

Eggs, larvae and pupae. Eggs smooth or minutely pitted (?). Larval prolegs 10 (?). Larvae not case-bearing (?); exposed feeders. In dry vegetable refuse.

Empty pupae not becoming protruded.

British representation. Genera 2 (Oecogonia and Symmoca, the latter represented by an adventive only); 4 species (one adventive).

Classification. Microlepidoptera. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Gelechioidea.

Comments. The widespread, native Oecogonia quadripuncta is sometimes found in houses, while Symmoca signatella is a mainland-European and North American adventive sometimes found near docks.

Illustrations. • Oecogonia quadripuncta: Stainton (1854).

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Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera. Version: 8th June 2016.’.