Nepticulidae & Opostegidae: the smallest moths of the world

Nepticulidae, often named pygmy leafmining moths or just pygmies, contain some of the smallest moths, and even the largest have a wingspan of less than 1 cm. Larvae are usually leafminers on trees or shrubs, with an interesting life history and tight connection to the hostplant.

Opostegidae are closely related, often a little bit larger, and frequently white with or without darker bands and patches. Larvae rarely make leafmines, they probably feed more often in the cambium layer of tree bark, but this is only known for very few species.

This website aims to be the place for authoritative information on the Taxonomy and Biology of these primitive leaf- and stem-mining moths. It contains a complete classification of described species and synonyms. The site is being built with taxon descriptions and images of existing and published species descriptions, and gradually add new data. Country maps are available for most species, specimen data and dot maps will appear later. A bibliography is being built gradually.

We still need many photos and people with material and an interest in these families are invited to contribute with those. Please contact site maintainer Erik van Nieukerken.  We welcome suggestions and new contributors to the site!

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith