Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


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 smooth (usually), or rough (e.g., Nothris). Antennae of medium length to long; extending to about 0.75–0.8 times the length of the forewing. Antennae of males simple; shortly simply-ciliate, or non-ciliate. The antennal scape with a pecten (rarely), or without a pecten; not forming an ‘eye cap’. Ocelli present (often), or absent. Chaetosemata absent (?). Maxillary palps well developed, or much reduced (short, appressed); 4 segmented; folded. Labial palps ascending (long, recurved, with a slender, pointed terminal segment); 3 segmented. Proboscis fully developed; scaly towards the base.

Wingspan 8–20 mm; about 11–14 times the thoracic width. Forewings narrow; 2.9–5.5 times as long as wide. Tornus weakly defined to undetectable. The outer margin convexly curved; forewings apically blunt; forewings predominantly shining-metallic (e.g., bronzy), or exhibiting shining-metallic markings (e.g., sometimes with silvery or leaden spots), or neither shining-metallic nor with shining metallic markings. Hindwings narrow-elongate and very long-fringed to neither unusually narrow-elongate nor especially long-fringed; trapezoidal; quite markedly narrower than the forewings to markedly broader than the forewings; with a pointed apex to with a rounded apex. The fringe of the hindwings (0.5–)1–3 times the width of the membrane. The upper surfaces plain; with neither discal spot nor transverse lines; hindwings with a frenulum.

Neuration of forewings and hindwings dissimilar. Forewings 12 veined (often), or 10–11 veined (veins 3 and 4, and 7 and 8 sometimes coincident, veins 2, 4 and 7 sometimes absent); 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, or without a discal cell (e.g., Stenolechia). The transverse vein complete, or incomplete, or lacking. Discal cell of the forewings without a tubular media (M) vein. Hindwings (9–)10 veined; with 1 anal vein to with 3 anal veins. The anal veins of the hindwings representing 1b only, or comprising 1a and 1b, or comprising 1a, 1b and 1c. Hindwings exhibiting vein 1a, or lacking vein 1a; exhibiting a tubular vein 1c, or lacking a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the hindwings obsoletely furcate, or simple. The transverse vein complete. The hindwing cell bearing a pecten of hairs on its cubital margin, or without a cubital pecten of hairs. 6 veins arising from the hindwing cell. The cell-derived hindwing veins all arising independently of one another, or 3+4 proximally joined and 6+7 proximally joined (with connation or stalking). Veins 6 and 7 of the hindwings not parallel. Vein 8 of the hindwings completely independent of the cell, or joined to the cell only by a bar, or anastomosing with the upper margin 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 (rarely all much reduced). Larvae case-bearing, or not case-bearing; concealed feeders (mostly in spun leaves, fruiting infloresences, flowers or shoots); subterranean (rarely), or not subterranean; leaf-mining (rarely), or not leaf-mining. One in bracken stems, a few associated with conifers. Otherwise mainly associated with divers Dicot trees, shrubs and herbs; seemingly avoiding Monocots, except Sitotroga cerealella, which is a destructive pest in stored cereal grain.

Pupae concealed; on the surface of the ground, or above the ground. Empty pupae not becoming protruded.

British representation. Genera 54 (4 adventive only); about 150 species (8 adventive). Gelechia rhombella, Hypatima rhomboidella (Lobster-clawed Moth), Prolita sexpunctella (Long-horned Flat-back, Groundling), etc.

Classification. Microlepidoptera. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Gelechioidea.

Illustrations. • Anacampsis scintillella, A. temerella, Mirificarma lentiginosella: Stainton 9, II (1865). • Stainton 9, II (1865): original legend.. • Gelechia hippophaŽlla, Helcystogramma rufescens, Monopis ferruginella (or obviella? - mainland-European): Stainton 9, I (1865). • Stainton 9, I (1865): original legend.. • Aroga flavicomella (mainland-European), Neofaculta ericetella, Mirificarma mulinella: Stainton 9, III (1865). • Stainton 9, III (1865): original legend.. • Neofriseria peliella, Scrobipalpa acuminatella, Anthrips mouffetella: Stainton 9, IV (1865). • Stainton 9, IV (1865): original legend.. • Bryotropha domestica, Bryotropha affinis, Teleiodes vulgella: Stainton 9, V (1865). • Stainton 9, V (1865): original legend.. • Altenia scriptella, Pseudotelphusa paripunctella (as triparella), Recurvaria leucatella: Stainton 9, VI (1865). • Stainton 9, VI (1865): original legend.. • Scrobipalpa artemisiella, Xenolechia aethiops, (mainland-European) Mirificarma maculatella: Stainton 9, VII (1865). • Stainton 9, VII (1865): original legend.. • Athrips tetrapunctella (as nigricostella), Chrysoesthia sexguttella (as naeviferella), Chrysoesthia drurella (as hernannella): Stainton 9, VIII (1865). • Stainton 9, VIII (1865): original legend.. • Caryocolum vicinella (as leucomelanella), C. cauliginella (mainland-European), Scrobipalpa costella: Stainton 10, IX (1867). • Stainton Stainton 10, IX (1867): original legend.. • Caryocolum marmorea (as maculea), C. tricolorella, C. viscariella: Stainton 10, X (1867). • Stainton 10, X (1867): original legend.. • Caryocolum fraternella, C. fischerella,, C. marmorea: Stainton 10, XI (1867). • Stainton 10, XI (1867): original legend.. • Caryocolum proxima (as maculiferella), Monochroa servella (as farinosae), Teleiodes sequax: Stainton 10, XII (1867). • Stainton 10, XII (1867): original legend.. • Syncopacma taeniolella, S. coronillella (mainland-European), S. albipalpella: Stainton 10, XIII (1867). • Stainton 10, XIII (1867): original legend.. • Aproaerema anthyllidella, Monochroa arundinetella, Epithectis lathyri: Stainton 10, XIV (1867). • Stainton 10, XIV (1867): original legend.. • Apodia bifractella, Ptocheuusa inopella), Aristotelia brizella: Stainton 10, XV (1867). • Stainton 10, XV (1867): original legend.. • Eulamprotes wilkella (as pictella), Aristotelia ericinella, Thiotricha subocellea: Stainton 10, XVI (1867). • Stainton 10, XVI (1867): original legend.. • Carpotolechia decorella (as Laverna), with Mompha and Sorhagenia: Stainton 11, VI (1870). • Stainton 11, VI (1870): original legend.. • Dichomeris derasella and Dichomeris limosellus (as Ypsolophus, with Y. ustella): Stainton 13, II (1873).. • Stainton 13, II (1873): original legend.. • Hypatima, Pseudotelphusa, Recurvaria, Teleiodes: Stainton (1859). • Monochroa cytisella (Curtis), Broom Tinea: B. Ent. 671. • Monochroa cytisella (Curtis): B. Ent. 671, legend+text. • Monochroa cytisella (Curtis): B. Ent. 671, text cont.. • Prolita sexpunctella (Long-horned Flat-back, Groundling: B. Ent. 189). • Prolita sexpunctella (detail: B. Ent. 189). • Prolita sexpunctella (legend+text: B. Ent. 189). • Prolita sexpunctella (text, cont.: B. Ent. 189). • Hypatima rhomboidella (Lobster-clawed Moth: B. Ent. 368). • Hypatima rhomboidella: B. Ent. 368, legend+text. • Hypatima rhomboidella: B. Ent. 368, text cont.. • 8 genera (from Stainton). • Larvae of 'Tineina' (Stainton). • 6 genera: neuration.

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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.’.