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Temporal range: Middle Jurassic–Present
Micropterix aureoviridella (Höfner, 1898).jpg
Micropterix aureoviridella (Höfner, 1898)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Zeugloptera
Chapman, 1917[1]
Superfamily: Micropterigoidea
Herrich-Schäffer, 1855
Family: Micropterigidae
Herrich-Schäffer, 1855

See text

About 180 species

Micropterigoidea is the superfamily of "mandibulate archaic moths", all placed in the single family Micropterigidae, containing currently about twenty living genera. They are considered the most primitive extant lineage of lepidoptera (Kristensen, 1999), and the sole superfamily in the suborder Zeugloptera. The name comes from the Greek for mikros, little and pterux, a wing.[2] Unique among the Lepidoptera, these moths have chewing mouthparts rather than a proboscis, and are seen feeding, often in large aggregations, on the pollen of the flowers of many herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees.[3][4] The fossil record of the group goes back to the middle-late Jurassic with the earliest known species being Auliepterix from the Karabastau Formation in Kazakhstan.

Presumed phylogenetic relationships within Micropterigidae based on Gibbs (2010)


Extinct genera[edit]


  1. ^ van Nieukerken et al (2011) Order Lepidoptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness, Zootaxa 3148, 212-221
  2. ^ Smith, Frank. "Microlepidoptera (Micro-Moths)". Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  3. ^ Sterling, Phil; Parsons, Mark; Lewington, Richard (2012). Field Guide to the Micromoths of Great Britain and Ireland. Milton-on-Stour: British Wildlife Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 978 0 9564902 1 6.
  4. ^ Heath, John (1983). Micropterigidae. In The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Volume 1. Colchester: Harley Books. p. 151. ISBN 0 946589 15 1.
  • Kristensen, N. P., and E. S. Nielsen. 1979. A new subfamily of micropterigid moths from South America. A contribution to the morphology and phylogeny of the Micropterigidae, with a generic catalogue of the family (Lepidoptera: Zeugloptera). Steenstrupia 5(7):69–147.
  • Kristensen, N. P. (1999). The non-Glossatan Moths. Ch. 4, pp. 41–49 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.


  • O'Toole, Christopher. 2002. Firefly Encyclopedia of Insects and Spiders. ISBN 1-55297-612-2.

External links[edit]