Cosmopterix pulcherimella, Crete - photo © Fotis Samaritakis
The Family Cosmopterigidae (Cosmopterigid Moths)
The Family Cosmopterigidae
The Cosmopterigidae (Cosmopterigid Moths) family is a cosmopolitan family of microlepidoptera; Cosmopterigid Moths are members of the huge superfamily Gelechioidea. About 1500 species are described in a worldwide distribution. The taxonomic family is most diverse in the Australian and Pacific region with about 780 species in more than 100 genera, richly represented on oceanic islands.
These are tiny to small micromoths (wingspan 0.4-2.6 cm) with narrow, elongated wings but not defined by any uniquely derived characteristic. Characteristic of many members of the family are the palps, particularly long and curved.
Their larvae feed inside the leaves, seeds, and stems, of their host plants (miners), some species are fungivores. Most are internal feeders, leaf miners, or bud, stem, bark, or root borers. and some species are scavengers or predators of scale insects.
The following species are representative species of the Cosmopterigidae moths that have been photographed on the island of Crete. You can obtain more information about each species, by selecting the relative species icon. The list of Cosmopterigidae species is nondefinitive.