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Family Scythrididae - Flower Moths

Mini moth Chenopodium Scythris Moth - Scythris limbella Chenopodium Scythris Moth - Hodges#1673 - Scythris limbella Scythris sinensis - Hodges#1651.1 - Scythris sinensis Oso Flaco Flightless Moth - Areniscythris brachypteris Mating Moths - male - female Flower moth 030416wma Scythris trivinctella?
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Gelechioidea (Twirler Moths and kin)
Family Scythrididae (Flower Moths)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
A generic revision of Nearctic Scythrididae was published by Landry (1991). - Microleps.org
Sometimes listed as a subfamily of Oecophoridae (Australian Xyloryctidae)
Scythrididae was designated as a subfamily, Scythridinae, of Xyloryctidae Meyrick, 1890 (1) by Hodges (1999).
Restored to family status by Heikkilä et al. (2013).
Explanation of Names
Author: Rebel, 1901
Xyloryctidae appears to be from Greek, xylon, wood, plus Greek oriktes, a digger (2). Some caterpillars of this family (apparently subfamily Xyloryctinae, not found in North America) are wood borers (Australian Xyloryctidae). This is the same derivation as that of a scarab beetle, Xyloryctes.
Numbers
43 species in 6 genera in North America listed at All-Leps
About 650 species worldwide (Heikkilä et al. 2013)
Identification
Adult scythridids are small brown moths; some species are so dark as to appear black or blackish to the unaided eye, and some species have one or more whitish patches on the forewing. - Microleps.org
Range
widely dist. (BG data)
Habitat
Some scythridids appear to be associated with sandy areas. - Microleps.org
Food
In Illinois, scythridids show an affinity for nectaring during the day on flowers of yarrow, Achillea millefolium (Asteraceae) when it is in bloom. - Microleps.org
Life Cycle
Larvae of the relatively few scythridid species for which life histories are known show a preference for feeding (usually internally, e.g., as leaf miners) on composites (Asteraceae). - Microleps.org
Remarks
Adult scythridids are diurnal and seldom are attracted to light. - Microleps.org
Print References
Gordh and Headrick, entry for Xyloryctidae (1)
Hodges, R.W. 1999. The Gelechioidea. Pp. 131-158 in Kristensen, N.P. (editor). Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies 1. Handbuch der Zoologie IV/35. de Gruyter, Berlin.
Landry, J.-F. 1991. Systematics of Nearctic Scythrididae (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea): phylogeny and classification of supraspecific taxa, with a review of described species. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 160: 1-341.
The Century Dictionary--entry for Xyloryctes (2)
Heikkilä, M., Mutanen, M., Kekkonen, M. and Kaila, L. 2013. Morphology reinforces proposed molecular phylogenetic affinities: a revised classification for Gelechioidea (Lepidoptera). Cladistics 1-27. (abstract)
Internet References
Family Scythrididae - www.microleps.org - Primary source for life history info above
Works Cited
1.A Dictionary of Entomology
George Gordh, David H. Headrick. 2003. CABI Publishing.
2.The Century Dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language