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Family Yponomeutidae - Ermine Moths

Spotted moth - Yponomeuta Yponomeuta - Yponomeuta cagnagella Rufous-tipped Swammerdamia - Swammerdamia pyrella Ermine Moth - Yponomeuta American ermine - Yponomeuta multipunctella Ermine Moth? - Yponomeuta American Ermine moth - Yponomeuta multipunctella Zelleria retiniella
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Yponomeutoidea (Ermine Moths and kin)
Family Yponomeutidae (Ermine Moths)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Yponomeutidae Stephens, 1829 (Wikipedia--Ermine moth)
Explanation of Names
Family is named for genus Yponomeuta Latreille, 1796. That name was apparently a typographic error (!) for Hyponomeuta (1). That would be a combination of Greek prefix hypo under, plus nomeuta (unknown, perhaps from Greek pno air; breathing, plus meuta?) (2). Genus Hyponomeuta was apparently used as a name at a later date (Internet searches).
Common name ermine moths apparently refers to resemblance of some species in Yponomeuta (white with black dots) to the winter coat of the mammalian Ermine:
Life Cycle
larvae are leaf-webbers, leaf skeletonizers, leafminers or needleminers
Print References
Borror, entries for hypo, pno (2)
Lockwood, p. 152--discusses typographic origin of the family name Yponomeutidae (1)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Locust: The Devastating Rise And Mysterious Disappearance Of The Insect That Shaped The American Frontier
Jeffrey A. Lockwood. 2004. Basic Books.
2.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.