Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Family Scythrididae - Flower Moths

Moth Moth -? - Scythris trivinctella Moth for ID - Scythris Banded Scythris - Scythris trivinctella Unknown Moth Flower Moth flower moth  - Landryia impositella micro moth 2
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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). -
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.
43 species in 6 genera in North America listed at All-Leps
About 650 species worldwide (Heikkilä et al. 2013)
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. -
widely dist. (BG data)
Some scythridids appear to be associated with sandy areas. -
most records: May-Sept, yr round in CA, AZ, TX (BG data)
In Illinois, scythridids show an affinity for nectaring during the day on flowers of yarrow, Achillea millefolium (Asteraceae) when it is in bloom. -
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). -
Adult scythridids are diurnal and seldom are attracted to light. -
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 - - 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