Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
, 1854 (1)
BugGuide follows the higher taxonomy proposed by Karsholt et al. (2013) (3)
Explanation of Names
Gelechiidae from the type genus Gelechia
(Hübner), from Greek meaning "resting on the ground." (4)
The common name of "twirler" comes from their habit of spinning in circles on leaf surfaces.(5)
886 species and 92 genera in 6 subfamilies in NA, >4,600 described spp. in ca. 500 genera worldwide. (6)
Wingspan 7-25 mm (most species in 10-20 mm range).
Adult - FW narrowly rounded or pointed at apex; HW of most species trapezoidal, drawn out to point at apex (outer margin concave below apex)
; long labial palps (3 segments), upcurved, with third segment long and tapering
; hind tibia covered with long hair-scales above; filiform antennae (male & female); tibial spur pattern invariably 0-2-4.
Below is a guide to the local subfamilies of Gelechiidae. The images included are meant to be illustrative of the general appearance of each subfamily as an aid for narrowing down possibilities for identification. While the commonest elements of forewing maculation in each subfamily are represented, many patterns are not.
Larval habits vary widely: includes leaf miners, leaf folders and tiers, gall makers, and fruit & seed feeders.
Many species are serious pests of crops and stored grain products.
Busck, A., 1903. A revision of the American moths of the family Gelechiidae: with descriptions of the new species. Proceedings of the United States National Museum
, 25: 767-930, pl. 28-32. (7)
Hodges, R. W. 1966. Revision of the Nearctic Gelechiidae, I. The Lita Group (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea). Proceedings of The United States National Museum
, 119 (3547): 1-66; pl. 31. (8)
Stainton, H.T. 1854. Insecta Britannica (Lepidoptera: Tineina): 75
Thorough list Gelechiidae references by Sangmi Lee at Mississippi State University here