Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Moth Family Lecithoceridae

The Lecithoceridae is predominantly and Old World moth family that is tropical or subtropical in its distribution. These tiny moths are related to the Gelechiidae. In fact, it was included in that family for years. Some rather technical characters have been used to continue to keep the family separate from the Gelechiidae. About 6 genera and some 45 species are known from Australia. We are fortunate to have a number in our area. Some are drab, others much more colourful. Most perch in a very characteristic position. Adults are usually nocturnal. The larval habits are generally unknown but some have been reared from collections of leaf litter and grass tussocks.

These are small moths. The squares in the light sheet are approximately 1mm. Here are a few examples.

 Lecithocera concinna on grass blade

Crocanthes sp.
 Crocanthes sidoni

Crocanthes characotis
Crocanthes diula
Sarisophora tenella 
Crocanthes pyrochorda

This is the most gaudy example of the family in the eastern tropics. It seems to be active during the day, displaying itself in the open while the other species adopt a characteristic stance and remain motionless during the day unless disturbed.

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