Adela paludicolella, Heraklion- photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Adela paludicolella, Heraklion- photo © K. Bormpoudaki

The Family Pyralidae (Pyralid Moths, Snout Moths)

The Family Pyralidae

The family Pyralidae (Pyralid moths or Snout moths or Grass moths) is a family of Lepidoptera in the superfamily Pyraloidea. It is a diverse group with more than 6,000 species described worldwide.

This family includes small to medium-sized moths (wingspan 9-37 mm) with variable morphological features. Many species are drab brown or gray in color, but some have distinctively patterned wings. The forewings are elongated and the hindwings have three anal veins. The labial palps are usually long and project forward or upward. Adults hold their wings out to the side, fold them flat, or roll them up, making their bodies look like sticks.

Larvae are primarily concealed feeders, most often borers in seeds, fruit, or stems, or in tunnels in the soil beneath plants. Others construct nestlike shelters among tied leaves, sometimes of tough silk.

Most of these small moths are inconspicuous and many are economically important pests and several of them have been transported worldwide by human activities.

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

List of Pyralidae species in Crete