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Mnesarchaea loxoscia.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Mnesarchaeidae
Genus: Mnesarchaea
Meyrick, 1886

See text.

7 described species

Mnesarchaeoidea is a superfamily of "New Zealand primitive moths" containing one family, Mnesarchaeidae and a single genus, Mnesarchaea, endemic to New Zealand.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

Mnesarchaeoidea constitutes the living sister taxon to the superfamily Hepialoidea[1].

Morphology and identification[edit]

The mouthparts of the adult moths are functional, unlike Hepialoidea. About seven species are not yet described, and the group is under revision by Gibbs et al. (see also Gibbs, 1979; Dugdale, 1988).

Biology and behaviour[edit]

The moths are mostly day-flying. The larvae live in silken galleries among liverworts and soil detritus. See Kristensen (1999: 57-59) for more details.



  • Dugdale, J.S. (1988). Lepidoptera - annotated catalogue, and keys to family-group taxa. Fauna of New Zealand, 14: 1-262.
  • Gibbs, G.W. (1979). Some notes on the biology and status of the Mnesarchaeidae (Lepidoptera). New Zealand Journal of Entomology, 7: 2-9.
  • Kristensen, N.P. (1999) [1998]. The homoneurous Glossata. Ch. 5, pp. 51–64 in Kristensen, N.P. (Ed.). Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Handbuch der Zoologie. Eine Naturgeschichte der Stämme des Tierreiches / Handbook of Zoology. A Natural History of the phyla of the Animal Kingdom. Band / Volume IV Arthropoda: Insecta Teilband / Part 35: 491 pp. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York.
  • Nielsen, E.S., Robinson, G.S. and Wagner, D.L. 2000. Ghost-moths of the world: a global inventory and bibliography of the Exoporia (Mnesarchaeoidea and Hepialoidea) (Lepidoptera) Journal of Natural History, 34(6):


External links[edit]