global information system on pyraloidea


Crambidae contain 10,094 species classified into 1,015 genera.

The Acentropinae (= Nymphulinae) comprise about 761 species worldwide. The early stages are almost always aquatic. Acentropinae are supported as monophyletic by the presence of enlarged, chimney-like stigmata on abdominal segments 2 to 4 of the pupa.

References. Speidel 1984, 1998; Yoshiyasu 1985.

The Crambinae comprise 2047 species worldwide. The larvae are root feeders or stem borers, mostly on grasses. A few species are pests of sod grasses, maize, sugar cane, rice, and other Poaceae. The monophyly of the group is supported by the structure of the tympanal organs and the phallus attached medially to the juxta

References. Bleszynski 1965; Heppner 1991; Landry 1995

The Cybalomiinae comprise 107 species occurring in dry regions of southern Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. So far as known, the larvae of most species feed on Cruciferae and Capparidaceae. The chaetosemata are absent. In males, the forewings have a fovea between R3+4 und R5 and the gnathos is distally strongly sclerotised, spatulate or triangular.

References. Luquet & Minet 1982; Munroe & Solis 1999; Solis 2009.

The Glaphyriinae (= Evergestinae, Noordinae) comprise 345 species mainly in the New World, except Hellula undalis that is described from Italy, and is a pest of crucifers in the Old World and Hawaii. The male genitalia have an uncus, but the gnathos is much reduced or absent. The larvae feed as leaf folders on Cruciferae or Capparidaceae, miners in Opuntia stems and heads of Typha spp., case bearers on lichens, parasites on psychid caterpillars, and inquilines in nests of vespid wasps.

References. Munroe & Solis 1998; Regier et al. 2012.

The Heliothelinae are a small group with only 49 described species in the Old World. They are characterized by an inwardly directed spine in the female corpus bursae. There are two main groups in Heliothelinae. The Heliothelini are adapted to hot and dry environments; the moths are day flyers and have a noctuoid appearance. The Hoploscopini occur in lower altitudes of tropical mountain rain forests in the Oriental region and Queensland; the adults are nocturnal.

References. Amsel 1961; Minet 1982; Robinson, Tuck & Shaffer 1994; Nuss 1999.

The Lathrotelinae currently comprise 37 species in four genera. They are distributed in the tropical regions of the world, with most species described from Australasia. Early stages feed on the roots of monocotyledonous plants like palms and grasses. The small adults are rather inconspicuous with mostly a grey and brownish wing colouration. Lathrotelinae lack chaetosemata and a gnathos. The presence of two or three small round spots along the forewing costa is diagnostic.

References. Hayden 2013; Minet 2015

The Linostinae comprise one genus with four species and occur from southern Mexico to Bolivia and southern Brazil. The life history of the early stages is unknown. Linostine moths have broad, white wings with fine black markings. The maxillary palpi, proboscis, ocelli, and chaetosemata are absent.

References. Munroe 1959, 1962, 1995.

The Midilinae comprise 95 species ranging from Mexico to northern Argentinia, but they are absent from the West Indies. Known larvae are borers in Araceae. The moths have an un-pyraloid-like appearance with broad wings and a robust body. They are often confused with Geometridae, Noctuidae, or even Saturniidae. The wings of many species have hyaline discal spots and angulate or sinuate terminal margins.

References: Munroe 1970 d.

Musotiminae comprise 193 species in the tropics, New Zealand, Micronesia and Samoa. Many of the known larvae feed on ferns and are white, delicate moths with dark black or orange markings. Musotimines can be distinguished by the following combination of characters, but they are not unique to the musotimines: spinula present, ductus seminalis originating beyond the middle of the ductus bursae, labial palpus upturned, and chaetosemata present.

References. Yoshiyasu 1985; Phillips & Solis 1996; Solis & Maes 2002; Yen et al. 2004.

The Odontiinae comprise 384 species in 87 genera. Species of this subfamily are present on all continents and continental islands, except New Zealand. The group is most numerous and diverse in eremic habitats where the moths are often diurnal. The larvae of Odontiini are generally leaf miners, while those of Eurhypiini are leaf folders, flower and bud feeders, and fruit and stem borers. Odontiine larvae use a wide range of host plants, but mostly Dicotyledonae. Male odontiines have a semi-membraneous uncus which is broad and distally bilobed, and the valva is more or less broadly rounded at the apex.

References. Munroe 1961, 1972, 1975, 1977; Leraut & Luquet 1982.

The Pyraustinae originally included the Spilomelinae (see below), which, however, comprise the larger number of species of the two groups. It has not been fully established yet which taxa of the Pyraustinae s.l. belong to Pyraustinae s. str. or Spilomelinae, but 1175 species in 173 genera are currently verified to belong to the Pyraustinae s. str. The Pyraustinae are characterised by atrophied spinula and venulae in the tympanal organs; a narrow fornix tympani; a longitudinal groove with androconial scales on the male mesothoracic tibiae; an often spinose antrum; and a sella (a medially directed clasper on the inside of the valvae), and an editum with modified setae on the male valvae.

References: Minet 1982; Maes 1994; Solis & Maes 2003.

The Schoenobiinae comprise 235 species in the temperate and tropical zones of both hemispheres. The larvae bore in marsh-living Poaceae. Species of Scirpophaga in the Old World and Rupela in the New World are important pests of rice. Sternite VIII of the males in all but four primitive genera have a rounded membraneous area, covered by a posteriorly directed brush of stiff scales arising from the posterior margin of sternite VII, associated with a platelike, scale bearing coremata flanking the vinculum.

References. Common 1960; Lewvanich 1981.

The Scopariinae comprise 577 described species in the temperate zones of the northern and southern hemispheres, on oceanic islands and in mountain rain forests of the tropics. Uniquely in the Pyraloidea, the larvae are known to feed on mosses, but there are also feeding records from lycopodes, lichens, and seed-plants.
Scopariine moths are best characterized by their wing pattern elements with the typical "X"-like distal discoidal stigma and a dentation of the postmedian line towards this stigma.

References. Nuss 1999.

Spilomelinae (= Wurthiinae) With 4085 species worldwide, this is the most speciose group among pyraloids. The moths are characterized by the absence of chaetosemata, a bilobed praecinctorium, projecting fornix tympani, pointed spinula, absence of a gnathos, and the female genitalia have no rhomboidal signum on the bursa copulatrix. The Spilomelinae are believed to be polyphyletic.

References: Minet 1982; Solis & Maes 2003; Regier et al. 2012.


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Last updated: May 23, 2018