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Temporal range: 38–0 Ma Late Eocene to present
Adult European grain moth (Nemapogon granella: Nemapogoninae) from Graz, Austria
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Tineoidea
Family: Tineidae
Latreille, 1810
Type genus
and see text
About 357 genera and 2,393 species

Tineidae is a family of moths in the order Lepidoptera described by Pierre André Latreille in 1810. Collectively, they are known as fungus moths or tineid moths. The family contains considerably more than 3,000 species in more than 300 genera. Most of the tineid moths are small or medium-sized, with wings held roofwise over the body when at rest. They are particularly common in the Palaearctic, but many occur elsewhere, and some are found very widely as introduced species.

Tineids are unusual among Lepidoptera as the larvae of only a very small number of species feed on living plants, the majority feeding on fungi, lichens, and detritus. The most familiar members of the family are the clothes moths, which have adapted to feeding on stored fabrics and led to their reputation as a household pest. The most widespread of such species are the common clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella), the case-bearing clothes moth (Tinea pellionella), and the carpet moth (Trichophaga tapetzella); the brown-dotted clothes moth (Niditinea fuscella) despite its name, preferentially feeds on feathers in bird nests.

One remarkable genus is Ceratophaga, whose members feed exclusively on pure keratin in the form of the horns and hooves of dead mammals and even the shells of dead tortoises.


Subfamilies and notable genera[edit]

Some species also are listed; for others see genus accounts.




Genera incertae sedis[edit]

These fungus moths have not been assigned to a subfamily with a reasonable amount of certainty:

Fossil record[edit]


  • Darby, Gene (1958). What is a Butterfly. Chicago: Benefic Press. p. 43.
  • Global Taxonomic Database of Tineidae
  • Common Clothes Moth
  • A Caterpillar that Eats Tortoise Shells
  • Tineid of Korea(closed, 2005~2019.12.23)
  • Fauna Europaea

Further reading[edit]

Key works
  • Dugdale, J.S., 1988. Lepidoptera - annotated catalogue and keys of family-group taxa. Fauna of New Zealand, 14: 1–262.
  • Gaedike, R. 1983. Zur Kenntnis der paläarktischen Tineiden Die Gattung Infurcitinea Spuler, 1910 (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Abhandlungen, Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde, Dresden, 46: 121–150.
  • Gaedike, R. 1985. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der paläarktischen Tineiden: Gattung Obesoceras Petersen, 1957 (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Abhandlungen, Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde, Dresden, 48: 167–181.
  • Hinton, H.E. 1956. The larvae of the species of Tineidae of economic importance. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 47: 251–346.
  • Leraut, P., 1985. Mise a jour de la liste des Tineides de la faune de France. Entomologica Gallica, 1(4): 319–325.
  • Petersen, G. 1957–8. Die Genitalien der paläarktischen Tineiden. Beiträge zur Entomologie, 7: 55–176, 338–380, 557–595; 8: 111–118, 398–430.
  • Robinson, G.S. 1979. Clothes-moths of the Tinea pellionella complex: a revision of the world's species (Lepidoptera: Tineidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology, 38: 57–128, figs 1–103.
  • Zagulajev, A.K. 1960. Tineidae; part 3 - subfamily Tineinae. [In Russian.] Fauna SSSR, 78: 1–267, 231 figs, 3 pls. [Translation, 1975, New Delhi.]
  • Zagulajev, A.K. 1964. Tineidae; part 2 - subfamily Nemapogoninae. [In Russian.] Fauna SSSR, 86: 1–424, 385 figs, 1 pl. [Translation, 1968, Jerusalem.]
  • Zagulajev, A.K. 1973. Tineidae; part 4 - subfamily Scardiinae. [In Russian.] Fauna SSSR, 104: 1–126, 99 figs, 2 pls.
  • Zagulajev, A.K. 1975. Tineidae; part 5 - subfamily Myrmecozelinae. [In Russian.] Fauna SSSR, 108: 1–426, 319 figs, 8 pls. [Translation, 1988, New Delhi.]
  • Zagulajev, A.K. 1979. Tineidae; part 6 - subfamily Meessiinae. [In Russian.] Fauna SSSR, 119: 1–409.
  • Zagulajev A K. 1988 English translation (original 1975). Clothes Moths (Tineidae) (English translation of Nastoyaschie Moli (Tineidae)).Akademiya Nauk SSSr, Zoologicheskii Institut, New series No. 108

External links[edit]