Nepticulidae & Opostegidae: the smallest moths of the world

NOTICE. From 15 July 2024 onwards this site is frozen, no updates will be possible*

Nepticulidae, often named pygmy leafmining moths or just pygmies, contain some of the smallest moths, and even the largest have a wingspan of less than 1 cm. Larvae are usually leafminers on trees or shrubs, with an interesting life history and tight connection to the hostplant. Opostegidae or white eyecap moths are closely related, often a little bit larger, and frequently white with or without darker bands and patches. Larvae rarely make leafmines, they probably feed more often in the cambium layer of tree bark, but this is only known for very few species.

This website aims to be the place for authoritative information on the Taxonomy and Biology of these primitive leaf- and stem-mining moths. From October 31st, 2016 the site contains the newest classification, based on the Molecular Phylogeny (Doorenweerd et al., 2016) and Catalogue (van Nieukerken et al. 2016). This classification contains all described species and synonyms. Currently we recognise 884 extant and 18 fossil species of Nepticulidae and 192 valid Opostegidae species. The site is being built with taxon descriptions and images of existing and published species descriptions. Country maps are available for most species, specimen data and dot maps will appear later. The bibliography is complete for the taxonomic and nomenclatorial literature, with 794 references in October 2016.

For a citing example please see the tab "About the site".

* we are still investigating the continuation of this site in this or another form, Erik van Nieukerken, July 2024

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith