Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Mandibulate Archaic Moths (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae)

  • John B. Heppner
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1702

Mandibulate archaic moths, family Micropterigidae, comprise 130 sp. known worldwide, in 2 subfamilies: Micropteriginae and Sabatincinae. The actual fauna likely exceeds 175 species. The family is in the monobasic superfamily Micropterigoidea, the only representative group of the most primitive extant Lepidoptera, the suborder Zeugloptera. The family includes small lepidopterans that have retained chewing mouthparts as adults, yet have lepidopteran scales and other adult and larval features that exclude them from Trichoptera. Adults small (5–12 mm wingspan), with very roughened head scales, and prominent five-segmented folded maxillary palpi; labial palpi short, one to three-segmented; haustellum absent (chewing mouthparts). All species are diurnally active as far as is known and most species have some iridescent scales on the forewings. Larvae are small, slug-like in shape, feeding mostly on mosses, liverworts, or detritus, as far as is known.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Heppner
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida State Collection of ArthropodsGainesvilleUSA