Cosmopterigidae Overview

          This family has been defined by the following: 1) gnathos absent, 2) aedeagus ankylosed, 3) female retinaculum with a series of anteriorly directed scales between CuA and R or series of anteriorly directed scales on R, 4), hindwing with M3 and CuA1 usually separate (Hodges, 1998). Hodges divided the family into three subfamilies: Chrysopeleiinae, Antequerinae, and Cosmopterigidae, although the subfamily Scaeosophinae occurring in the Old World tropics is recognized by Koster and Sinev (2003). Koster and Sinev (2003) also have recognized Chrysopeleiidae as a separate family.
          Cosmopterigidae has a worldwide distribution except Oceania and includes about 270 species in 22 genera (Hodges, 1998).

          References: Common (1990), Fletcher (1933), Hodges (1978), Koster & Sinev (2003), Kuroko (1982), Riedl (1969), Sinev (2002a), Stehr (1987), Zagulyaev & Sinev (1981), Zimmerman (1978).

          Hodges (1998) defined his subfamily by the hindwing having an open cell and the uncus present or absent, but if present, not forming two, asymmetric separate lobes. However, Koster and Sinev (2003) presented justification for giving family rank to Chrysopeleiinae (=Walshiidae Hodges, 1962). In particular, Koster and Sinev (2003) argue that the specialized characters in Cosmopteriginae + Antequerinae (sensu Hodges, 1998) evolved independently in Chrysopeleiinae and are not homologous.
Larvae feed primarily on hosts in Fabaceae, Tamariaceae, Polygonaceae, and Rhamnaceae, boring into buds, twigs, and branches, although some are leaf miners, gall makers, or flower and seed feeders (Hodges, 1998; Koster and Sinev, 2003).
          Chrysopeleiinae includes about 270 species in 22 genera (Hodges, 1998). The subfamily has a worldwide distribution except Oceania, but is most diverse in Central and southern Asia, Africa and North America (Hodges, 1998; Koster and Sinev, 2003). About 85 species occur in America north of Mexico (Hodges, 1983).

          References: Clarke (1965), Hodges (1962, 1964, 1969, 1978, 1983), Kasy (1968a,b, 1969), Koster & Sinev (2003), Mosher (1916), Riedl (1969), Zagulyaev & Sinev (1981).


          Hodges (1998) defined this subfamily by three parallelisms, 1) the vinculum weakly sclerotized or open mesially, 2) asymmetrical male genitalia, 3) antennal pecten present, and one polymorphy, hindwing with Rs and M1 separate or separate. Koster and Sinev (2003) provide additional characteristics as follows: head often protruded at frons, labial palpi long, thin, and sharply curved upward, eyes often with bright red pigment, and ocelli absent; forewings lanceolate to linear, usually with metallic markings, M1 and sometimes M2 stalked with R4+5; abdominal tergites with intersegmental membrane sometimes bearing specialized transverse rows of spinules; uncus absent, but compensated by developed, asymmetrical arms of gnathos (brachia); aedeagus without cornuti; presence of unique pleural lobes of abdominal segment VIII, covering the valval base or entire valva from the outside; female with ostium always surrounded by a sterigma; corpus bursae usually with paired signa. Adults have a distinctive resting position, with the hindlegs appressed to or raised at an angle above the abdomen.
          Larvae are leaf miners or tiers, stem and root borers, and less frequently, seed feeders on more than 26 families of plants, especially Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Pandanaceae, Poaceae, Rosaceae, Thypaceae, and Zamiaceae (Hodges, 1998; Koster & Sinev, 2003). Larvae of many tropical species are known to scavenge on decaying plants, some are inquilines in galls made by wasps, and others are predators on scale insects (Koster & Sinev, 2003).
          The subfamily has a worldwide distribution with 1350 species in 80 genera (Hodges, 1998). High diversity occurs in the tropical regions of the New and Old Worlds where thousands of species remain undescribed (Sinev, 2002).

          References: Clarke (1965), Common (1990), Hodges (1962, 1978), Koster & Sinev (2003), Riedl (1969), Zagulyaev & Sinev (1981), Zimmerman (1978).

          Hodges (1998) defined this subfamily by the female frenulum having three acanthae, the female retinaculum usually a row of anteriorly directed scales between CuA and R, and the hindwing with closure of the cell directed at a 45° angle from M2 towards the base of the wing. In addition, the aedeagus is free, the valva is a single lobe and the costal/saccular margins are not differentiated.
          Larvae of Euclemensia are known to be parasitoids of armored scale insects (Hodges, 1998).
          The subfamily includes 8 species in four genera in North America and England (Hodges, 1998).

          References: Hodges (1978).