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

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Though numerous in Australia, the Gelechiidae are greatly outnumbered by the Oecophoridae. Most genera may be recognised by the trapezoidal hind wing, usually with emarginate termen, and by the condition of Rs and M 1 in the hind wing. In Protolechia the hind wing is not trapezoidal, Rs and M 1 are nearly parallel, and the abdominal terga are minutely spinose anteriorly. All Australian genera lack CuP in both wings, and have the specialised retinaculum in the female. Hodges (1986) recognised three subfamilies: Gelechiidae, Pexicopiinae and Dichomeridinae.


Small; head smooth-scaled; ocelli often present; antennae simple or shortly ciliated, scape seldom with pecten; maxillary palps 4- or rarely 3-segmented; folded over base of proboscis; labial palps recurved, partly porrect, 2nd segment often tufted beneath or rough-scaled; epiphysis present, hind tibiae with long hair-scales; fore wing without pterostigma, R 4 and R 5 usually stalked, R 5 to costa, CuP absent, female retinaculum a row of curved specialised scales on R; hind wing usually more or less trapezoidal, with termen sinuate or emarginate, CuA sometimes with basal pecten, R 1 present, Rs and M 1 usually approximated at base or stalked, M 3 and CuA 1 connate or stalked, rarely separate, CuP usually absent; abdomen rarely with dorsal spines. Male genitalia with uncus broad or slender, gnathos usually a hook or elongate and tapering, valvae usually long and slender, aedeagus usually bulbous. Larva rarely with secondary setae on prolegs, occasionally with anal fork, crochets uni- or biordinal, in circle, mesal penellipse or in 2 transverse rows, rarely reduced or absent; joining leaves, feeding on seeds, or mining in leaves or stems; rarely in portable case. Pupa with maxillary palps present, labial palps and fore femora concealed, cremaster sometimes present; in silken cocoon in larval shelter or among detritus on ground.