Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Tinaeidae, Phycidae; including Ochsenheimeriidae.

Adults relatively long-bodied; relatively slender-bodied (wingspan more than 15 times the thoracic width) to 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 (hair-scaled). Antennae of medium length to very long; extending to about 0.3–1.4 times the length of the forewing. Antennae of males bipectinate, or dentate, or simple (usually); non-ciliate, or simply-ciliate, or pubescent. The antennal scape with a pecten (usually), or without a pecten; not forming an ‘eye cap’ (always?). Ocelli absent. Chaetosemata absent. Maxillary palps well developed, or much reduced; when well developed 4 segmented; not folded. Labial palps porrect; 3 segmented. Proboscis absent.

Wingspan 10–28 mm; 9–16 times the thoracic width. Forewings without up- or down-turned apices when the insect is at rest (by contrast with Lyonetiidae); narrow; 2.9–4.4 times as long as wide. Tornus weakly defined to undetectable. The outer margin convexly curved; forewings apically blunt; forewings predominantly shining-metallic, or neither shining-metallic nor with shining metallic markings (mostly). Hindwings neither unusually narrow-elongate nor especially long-fringed; ovate-lanceolate. The fringe of the hindwings 0.5–1 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 with well developed neuration, or with greatly reduced neuration (often); 10–13 veined (veins 8 and/or 10 occasionally absent, and sometimes with veins 9–11 joining short of the costa); with 1 anal vein, or with 2 anal veins (then 1c tubular only towards the margin). The anal veins of the forewings comprising 1b and 1c. Forewings more or less exhibiting a tubular vein 1c (this obsolete proximally), or lacking a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the forewings furcate proximally. The transverse vein complete to incomplete. Forewings with an accessory cell. Discal cell of the forewings containing a tubular media (M) vein, or without a tubular media (M) vein (and lacking from that of the hind-wings). Hindwings 9 veined, or 10 veined; with 2 anal veins, or with 3 anal veins. The anal veins of the hindwings comprising 1b and 1c, or comprising 1a, 1b and 1c. Hindwings exhibiting vein 1a, or lacking vein 1a; exhibiting a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the hindwings simple. The transverse vein complete to incomplete. 4–5 veins arising from the hindwing cell (rarely, with veins 4 or 5 absent, or 6 and 7 coincident), or 6 veins arising from the hindwing cell (usually). The cell-derived hindwing veins all arising independently of one another, or 3+4 proximally joined (rarely), or 5+6 proximally joined (rarely). 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 (usually).

Eggs, larvae and pupae. Eggs smooth or minutely pitted (?). Larval prolegs 10. Larvae exposed feeders, or concealed feeders (in dry vegetable or animal matter, sometimes case-bearing).

Pupae concealed; on the surface of the ground, or above the ground. Empty pupae protruded from place of concealment.

British representation. Genera 25 (5 adventive only); about 50 species (5 adventive). Nemaxera betulinella (Bark Clothes Moth, Gold-speckled Clothes-moth), Tineola bisselliella (Common Clothes Moth), etc.

Classification. Microlepidoptera. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Tineoidea.

Illustrations. • Myrmecozela ochraceella: Stainton 13, I (1873). • Stainton 13, I (1873): original legend.. • Tinea, Triaxomera and Trichophaga: Stainton (1859). • Acedes, Morophaga, Myrmecozela, Psychodes, Tineola: Stainton (1854). • Larvae of 'Tineina': Stainton (1854). • Morophaga boleti (Boletus Tinea): B. Ent. 591. • Morophaga boleti: B. Ent. 591, legend+text. • Morophaga boleti: B. Ent. 591, text cont.. • Nemaxera betulinella (Bark Clothes Moth, Gold-speckled Clothes-moth: B. Ent. 511). • Nemaxera betulinella (B. Ent. 511, legend+text). • Nemaxera betulinella (B. Ent. 511, text cont.). • Tinea (2 species). • Tineola bisselliella (Clothes-moth). • Euplocamus, Nemapogon, Tinea, Trichophaga: Kirby. • Tinea trinotella, Trichophaga trapetzella: neuration.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

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.’.