Elachista grotenfelti, Crete - photo © Fotis Samaritakis
The Family Elachistidae (Grass Miner Moths)
The Family Elachistidae
The family Elachistidae (Grass-miner moths) is a family of small moths in the superfamily Gelechioidea.
They are very small or small moths (wingspan up to 1 cm), with narrow, lancelike wings that are usually white, grey, or black with white markings. Their wings appear feather-like due to the fine hair covering the wings’ fringes, and the hindwings can be very reduced in area, consisting of a small strip with a wide hairy fringe.
The caterpillars feed on leaves of grasses and sedges and are typically leaf miners or stem miners on Poaceae. The distribution and feeding habits vary in each subfamily. They pupate in loose, meshlike cocoons or as naked pupae attached to plants or other objects by a silken girdle.
The following species are representative species of the Elachistidae 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 Elachistidae species is nondefinitive.