What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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The tineids are a heterogenous group. Adults rest with the body flat, antennae bent backward and wings tent-like; when disturbed they often run rapidly rather than flying. The usually rough head, naked proboscis, bristly labial palps, often long, folded maxillary palps, primitive venation, absence of pseudofrenular bristles and rough-scaled hind tibiae, are useful distinguishing characters. The family includes several cosmopolitan genera including pests of animal fibres and grain.


Small to medium-sized; head usually rough, with hair-scales, or smooth-scaled; chaetosemata and ocelli absent; antennae simple filiform, scape usually with pecten; proboscis usually short, long in some genera; maxillary palps 5-segmented and folded, or reduced; labial palps drooping, porrect, or ascending, 2nd segment usually with lateral bristles; epiphysis usually present, spurs 0-2-4, hind tibiae never smooth-scaled; fore wing with chorda and M-stem often present in cell, M frequently forked, R 5 to costa or apex; ovipositor usually telescopic. Eggs oval and slightly flattened. Larva sometimes case-bearing, usually feeding on dried animal or vegetable matter, or on fungi, with 0-6 stemmata on each side of head, crochets in uniserial circle or ellipse. Pupa usually with two transverse rows of spines on terga, rarely with one; segments 4-7 movable in male, 4-6 in female; in larval shelter or cocoon.

Tineidae images on Australian Moths Online

  • Moerarchis sp

  • Micrerethista fasciola