Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps



[After Shaffer & Nielsen 1996]
The first Pterophoridae were described from Australia by Walker in 1864, but the oldest described species listed were named from abroad and have subsequently been found in Australia. However, the oldest name in the Australian list is an introduced species, Wheeleria spilodactylus (Curtis, 1827). In the 19th century, Newman, Meyrick and Lucas added several species to the Australian fauna and several more were added in the 20th century, as recently as 1991. Today 49 species are recognised as occurring in Australia. The world fauna of the family consists of over 1200 described species. Further research will reveal additional species as several undescribed species are known.

The family was originally described by Latreille in 1802 and three subfamilies are currently known from Australia. Common (1990) and Nielsen & Common (1991) recognised Agdistinae, Platyptiliinae and Pterophorinae. Research since then has shown that true Agdistinae do not occur in Australia, and that the Platyptiliinae are synonymous with Pterophorinae (Gielis 1993). The subfamilies Ochyroticinae, Deuterocopinae and Pterophorinae are currently recognised in the Australian fauna. Besides the confusion over the placement of the genus Alucita (see ICZN, 1957), the group as a whole has always been recognised correctly and not confused with other families, except for the inclusion of the Maropiratidae.

Foodplant records are: Deuterocopus triannulatus on Vitis lanata; Stenoptilia zophodactylus on flowers of Gentianella diemensis; Platyptilia omissalis on Parahebe perfoliata; Sphenarches anisodactylus on flower buds and flowers of Pelaronium, also known to occur abroad on Dolichos lablab and on Lagenaria; Stangeia xerodes on foliage of Acacia and Imbophorus aptalis on undersides of leaves of Astrotricha floccosa.

The Ochyroticinae and Agdistinae are easily recognised with both pairs of wings undivided. In the Deuterocopinae the forewings have two clefts and the hindwings likewise, whereas the Pterophorinae have a single cleft, of varying depth in the forewing and two deep clefts in the hindwing. All true Pterophoridae have a line of erect modified scales on the underside of the hindwing.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
11-May-2011 11-May-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)