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Parachma lequettealis(Pyralidae-Chrysauginae).jpg
Chrysauginae: Parachma lequettealis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pyralidae
Subfamily: Chrysauginae
Lederer, 1863
Type species
Chrysauge divida
Hübner, 1823
135 genera
  • Bradypodicolinae Spuler, 1906
  • Semniidae Lederer, 1863

The Chrysauginae are a subfamily of snout moths (family Pyralidae). They are primarily neotropical and include about 400 described species.

Description and ecology[edit]

The subfamily includes the sloth moths (genera Cryptoses, Bradypodicola and Bradypophila). Adults of these species live in the fur of sloths, while the caterpillar larvae feed on the sloth's dung. Other unusual Chrysauginae caterpillars have been found in Hymenoptera nests and on the spines of caterpillars of the brush-footed butterfly genus Automeris. But usually, their larvae feed on plants, boring into seed, fruits, stems and roots, or rolling and spinning leaves together to form a hideout.

While the adults are fairly nondescript, Chrysauginae larvae can usually be recognized unequivocally by the sclerotised ring around seta SD1 of the metathorax.


A checklist of the Chrysauginae in the Western Hemsiphere was compiled by Solis et al. in 1995, but no phylogenetic analyses have been conducted. Four Australian genera were tentatively placed in this subfamily by Shaffer et al. in 1996, but study of the adults did not confirm this, and the larvae are unknown.