Nepticulidae is a family of very small moths with a worldwide distribution. They are characterised by eyecaps over the eyes (see also Opostegidae, Bucculatricidae, Lyonetiidae). These pigmy moths or size challenged moths, as they are commonly known, include the smallest of all living moths, with a wingspan that can be as little as 3 mm. in the case of the European Pigmy Sorrel Moth, but more usually 3.5–10 mm. The wings of adult moths are narrow and lanceolate, sometimes with metallic markings, and with the venation very simplified compared to most other moths.
Typical nepticulid moth leaf mines referable to the genera Stigmella and Ectoedemia are known from mid-Cretaceous fossils around 97 million years old (Labandeira et al., 1994; Grimaldi and Engel, 2005: 52).
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Labandeira, C.C., Dilcher, D.L., Davis, D.R. and Wagner, D.L. 1994. Ninety-Seven Million Years of Angiosperm-Insect Association: Paleobiological Insights into the Meaning of Coevolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 91(25): 12278–12282. pdf
Puplesis, R., Diskus, A., Robinson, G.S. and Onore, G. (2002). A review and checklist of the Neotropical Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera). Bulletin of The Natural History Museum. Entomology Series, 71: 59–76.
Scoble, M.J. (1983). A revised cladistic classification of the Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera) with descriptions of new taxa mainly from South Africa. Monographs of the Transvaal Museum.