Alucita major, Chania - photo © Fotis Samaritakis

Alucita major, Chania - photo © Fotis Samaritakis

The Family Gracillariidae (Leaf Blotch Miner Moths)

The Family Gracillariidae

The family Gracillariidae (Leaf Blotch Miner Moths) is an important family of moths and the principal family that includes several economic, horticultural, or recently invasive pest species. They occur in all terrestrial regions of the world except Antarctica.

These generally small (wingspan 4–20 mm) moths are leaf miners as caterpillars, which can provide a useful means of identification, especially if the hostplant is known. Many host plants are known, generally dicotyledonous trees or shrubs. They are usually colorful, with long fringes on the forewing and hindwing. These moths have long antennae and lancelike wings.

The subfamilies differ in the adult moth resting posture. Most Gracillariidae rest with the front of the body steeply raised; Lithocolletinae and Phyllocnistinae rest with the body parallel to the surface; in Lithocolletinae often with the head lowered.

The following species are representative species of the Gracillariidae 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 Gracillariidae species is nondefinitive.

List of Gracillariidae species in Crete