Batrachedridae Overview


          Hodges (1998) defined this family by a polymorphic character of the abdominal second sternum having either a pair of venulae or a pair of apodemes and two parallelisms: the abdominal terga having spiniform setae in two submesial patches, and the hindwing with M1 and M2 stalked or fused. Koster and Sinev (2003) considered this family to be defined by two autapomorphies: the very narrow wings with reduced venation, and the peculiar resting position of the moth with the anterior part of the body raised with the forelegs directed backwards.
          Batrachedridae has a worldwide distribution with more than 100 species in six genera divided into two subfamilies.


Epimarptinae
          This subfamily includes only one genus and one species in western India and is defined by three parallelisms: second abdominal sternum with a pair of apodemes only, hindwing with M1 and M2 fused, and male antenna notched. In addition, the subfamily has two reversals: the forewing has R5 terminating on the outer margin instead of the costa, and hindwing M3 and CuA1 are separate (Hodges, 1998).

          References: Meyrick (1914).


Batrachedrinae
          Hodges defined this subfamily by a second abdominal sternum with venulae or venulae and apodemes, the hindwing with Rs and M1 separate, M3 and CuA1 fused, and M1 and M2 often fused and arising from Rs. The tegumen often has a sclerotized ridge mesially. Larvae have a submental pit present or absent, TI with 2 or 3 L setae, A1 with 1-3 SV setae, and A9 usually with SD1 hair-like. Koster and Sinev (2003) elevated this taxon to family level.
          Larvae are known to feed on plant tissue, especially flower heads, seed heads, and other reproductive organs of Amaryllidaceae, Arecaceae, Bromeliaceae, Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, Pinaceae, and Salicaceae as well as on fern sporangia, and at least one species in Australia is known to feed on scale insects (Scoble, 1992; Hodges, 1998; Koster and Sinev, 2003). Larvae of some species construct cases similar to Coleophoridae, whereas others live in silk galleries on their food substrate, as inquilines in galls, as miners of pine needles, or borers in leaves of Agave (Scoble, 1992). Some species of Homaledra are known to be pests of palms.
          Batrachedrinae includes more than 100 species in five genera worldwide (Hodges, 1998).

          References: Clarke (1963), Hodges (1966), Koster and Sinev (2003), Scoble (1992), Zimmerman (1978).