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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Panorpida
Cladus: Amphiesmenoptera
Ordo: Lepidoptera
Subordo: Glossata
Cladus: Coelolepida
Cladus: Myoglossata
Cladus: Neolepidoptera
Infraordo: Heteroneura
Cladus: Eulepidoptera
Cladus: Ditrysia
Cladus: Apoditrysia
Superfamilia: Gelechioidea

Familia: Elachistidae
Subfamiliae: Elachistinae – Parametriotinae

Elachistidae Bruand, 1851

Meyrick, E. 1897. Descriptions of Australian Microlepidoptera. XVII. Elachistidae. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 22: 297–435. BHL Reference page.
Kaila, L. 1999. Phylogeny and classification of the Elachistidae s.s. (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea). Systematic Entomology 24(2): 139–169. Abstract: DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3113.1999.00069.x
Patocka, J. 1999. Die puppen der mitteleuropäischen Elachistidae (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 48(3/4): 283–312. PDF.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Grasminiermotten
English: Grass miners
suomi: Pystykotelokoit
magyar: Fűaknázó molyfélék
Nederlands: Grasmineermotten
中文: 小微蛾科The Elachistidae (grass-miner moths) are a family of small moths in the superfamily Gelechioidea. Some authors lump about 3,300 species in eight subfamilies here, but this arrangement almost certainly results in a massively paraphyletic and completely unnatural assemblage, united merely by symplesiomorphies retained from the first gelechioid moths.

In fact, most of these moths appear to be either closer to the Oecophorinae and are hence nowadays usually included in the Oecophoridae (Depressariinae, "Deuterogoniinae", Hypertrophinae, Stenomatinae and perhaps the enigmatic Aeolanthes), or constitute quite basal lineages of gelechioids, neither closely related to Elachista nor to Oecophora, and hence best treated as independent families within the Gelechioidea (Agonoxenidae, Ethmiidae). The genus Coelopoeta is sometimes[1] still placed here, but probably belongs in the Oecophorinae.

Consequently, the Elachistidae are essentially identical to the subfamily Elachistinae in the family's wide circumscription. The Agonoxenidae might perhaps belong here regardless, but even this is doubtful. Nonetheless, a considerable number of genera remain in the present family, and eventually it is likely that subdivisions will again be established (e.g. by raising some or all of the tribes proposed for the former Elachistinae to subfamily status).

A significant reduction of genera has been proposed, from the current mass of 20 genera to 3. The proposition was made on the premise of several distinguishing classifications, all of which are synapomorphies. Those include genital size and presence of digitate, adult abdomen segments without dorsal spines, absence of maxillary palpi and fronto-clypeal suture, and immobile abdominal segments in pupae and larvae. Various tribes were considered within the proposition, with most differentiation coming from genital structure.

In the modern, reduced description, the Elachistidae are small to very small moths (wingspans usually around 1 cm). Their wings appear feather-like due to the fine hair covering the wings' fringes, and the hindwings can be significantly reduced in area, essentially consisting of a small strip with a wide hairy fringe. The caterpillars are typically leaf miners or stem miners on Poales.


The genera of Elachistidae are:[2]

Eretmograptis Meyrick, 1938
Mylocrita Meyrick, 1922
Myrrhinitis Meyrick, 1913
Perittia Stainton, 1854
Stephensia Stainton, 1858
Urodeta Stainton, 1869

Several small genera colored by some authors are here included in Elachista, as it would otherwise be liable to be non-monophyletic. As noted above, Aeolanthes may also belong here, as the only genus of a subfamily Aeolanthinae. Also possibly included is the Peruvian species Auxotricha ochrogypsa, described by Edward Meyrick in 1931 as the sole member of its genus.

Parametriotinae Capuse, 1971
Agonoxeninae Meyrick, 1925 (alternatively treated as a separate family)

Fossil record

Some prehistoric genera of Elachistidae, known only from fossils, have been described:[3]

Elachistites Kozlov, 1987
Microperittia Kozlov, 1987
Palaeoelachista Kozlov, 1987
Praemendesia Kozlov, 1987

Former genera

Annetennia Traugott-Olsen, 1995
Aristoptila Meyrick, 1932
Atmozostis Meyrick, 1932
Atrinia Sinev, 1992
Austriana Traugott-Olsen, 1995
Atmozostis Meyrick, 1932
Bradleyana Traugott-Olsen, 1995
Calamograptis Meyrick, 1937 (Tineidae)
Canariana Traugott-Olsen, 1995
Cryphioxena Meyrick, 1921 (Bucculatricidae)
Dicasteris Meyrick, 1906
Dicranoctetes Braun, 1918
Elachistoides Sruoga, 1992
Eupneusta Bradley, 1974
Gibraltarensis Traugott-Olsen, 1996
Habeleria Traugott-Olsen, 1995
Holstia Traugott-Olsen, 1995
Illantis Meyrick, 1921
Kumia Falkovich, 1986

Kuznetzoviana Traugott-Olsen, 1996
Mendesina de Joannis, 1902
Microplitica Meyrick, 1935
Ogmograptis Meyrick, 1935 (Bucculatricidae)
Paraperittia Rebel, 1916
Perittoides Sinev, 1992
Petrochroa Busck, 1914
Phaneroctena A.J.Turner, 1923 (Cosmopterigidae)
Phthinostoma Meyrick, 1914
Polymetis Walsingham, 1908
Proterochyta Meyrick, 1918 (Scythrididae)
Sineviana Traugott-Olsen, 1995
Sruogania Traugott-Olsen, 1995
Symphoristis Meyrick, 1918
Whitebreadia Traugott-Olsen, 1995


See e.g. references in Savela (2004)
Wikispecies (2009-NOV-09), and see references in Savela (2004)

Wikispecies (2009-NOV-09)

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elachistidae.

Data related to Elachistidae at Wikispecies See also Gelechioidea Talk page for comparison of some approaches to gelechioid systematics and taxonomy.

Savela, Markku (2004): Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and some other life forms – Elachistidae. Version of 2004-OCT-03. Retrieved 2010-APR-21.
Kaila, Lauri (1999): Phylogeny and classification of the Elachistidae s.s. (Lepidoptera: Gelechioidea); Phylogeny and classification. Retrieved 2 November 2010.

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