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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Prototheoridae
Meyrick, 1917
Genus: Prototheora
Meyrick, 1917
12–13 species
  • Metatheora Meyrick, 1919

Prototheoridae, or the African primitive ghost moths, is a family of insects in the lepidopteran order, contained in the superfamily Hepialoidea. These moths are endemic to Southern Africa.

Diversity and distribution[edit]

The Prototheoridae comprise 13 currently recognised species, with one genus (Prototheora) endemic to South Africa (Kristensen, 1999: 60; Nielsen et al., 2000) or to Angola (Prototheora angolae) and Mulanje Massif of Malawi (Davis, 2001). See also revisions by Janse (1942) and Davis (1996).

List of species[edit]


  • Davis, D.R. (1996). A revision of the southern African family Prototheoridae (Lepidoptera: Hepialoidea). Entomologica Scandinavica, 27: 393-439.
  • Davis, D.R. (2001). A new species of Prototheora from Malawi, with additional notes on the distribution and morphology of the genus (Lepidoptera: Prototheoridae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington: 103(2): 452-456.Abstract
  • Janse, A.J.T. (1942). The moths of South Africa. Volume IV, part 1. Jugatae 78 pp.
  • Kristensen, N.P. (1999) [1998]. The non-Glossatan Moths. Ch. 4, pp. 41–62 in Kristensen, N.P. (Ed.). Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. 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): 823-878.Abstract


External links[edit]