The Depressariinae – sometimes spelled "Depressiinae" in error – are a subfamily of moths in the superfamily Gelechioidea. Like their relatives therein, their exact relationships are not yet very well resolved. It has been considered part of family Elachistidae sensu lato or included in an expanded Oecophoridae.[1] In modern classifications they are treated as the distinct gelechioid family Depressariidae.

Psorosticha zizyphi (ento-csiro-au).jpg
Adult Psorosticha zizyphi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Depressariidae
Subfamily: Depressariinae
Meyrick, 1883

Numerous, see text

  • Cryptolechiinae
  • Cryptolechiini
  • Depressariini
  • Depressiinae (lapsus)
  • Epigraphiini
(but see text)

As regards subdivisions, the Amphisbatinae are often held to be as close to the Depressariinae as to be included there, in particular if the latter are raised to full family rank, but also otherwise (as a tribe Amphisbatini in the Depressariinae). If Depressariinae are treated as oecophorid subfamily, it is more common to include the group around Cryptolechia, which is sometimes (especially in older arrangements) separated as tribe Cryptolechiini in subfamily Cryptolechiinae. The lineage of Cacochroa and its closest relatives – typically included in the "Cryptolechiinae" if these are treated as independent oecophorid subfamily – actually seems to be closer to Orophia, and would be part of tribe Orophiini if these are placed in the Oecophorinae. But they have also been included in the present group (as tribe(s) Orophiini and sometimes also Cacochroini), particularly if this is considered a full-fledged family. The same holds true for the Xyloryctidae, a group treated here as family but previously thought to be a subfamily of the Oecophoridae. Finally, the Semioscopis lineage is occasionally separated from the rest of the Depressariinae as tribe Epigraphiini (after its junior synonym Epigraphia). In all such treatments, the core group of Depressariinae becomes a tribe Depressariini.[1]

Distribution and ecologyEdit

Some 600 species were placed here as of 1999 (but see the caveats about the group's circumscription above). New taxa of Depressariinae are still being discovered and described on a regular basis. The group is found worldwide except on some oceanic islands and frozen wasteland, but the diversity is highest in temperate regions and the group is presumably Holarctic in origin – possibly Palaearctic, as gelechoid diversity in the Neotropics is poor but e.g. in Australia almost 20 species are found. From Europe alone, more than 160 species and subspecies (mostly of genus Agonopterix) were known in 2009, with over 80 recorded from Central Europe.[2]

The caterpillars usually develop in leaves spun together with silk, as stem borers or as seed or flower feeders of dicotyledons.[verification needed] Recorded Depressariinae host plants are mainly eurosids I (e.g. Betulaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, Urticaceae) but also from some other families (e.g. Malvaceae and Rutaceaeeurosids II –, or euasterids II like Apiaceae and Asteraceae).[3][4]


Genera of Depressariinae – with some notable species also listed – include:[5]


  1. ^ a b Scoble (1995), ABRS (2008), FE (2009), Wikispecies (24 March 2010), and see references in Savela (2009)
  2. ^ Scoble (1995), Hodges (1999), ABRS (2008), FE (2009), Lepiforum (2010)
  3. ^ Scoble (1995), Hodges (1999)
  4. ^ "Order LEPIDOPTERA (Moths & Butterflies): Key and Description of Families". The University of British Columbia.
  5. ^ ABRS (2008), Wikispecies (24 March 2010), and see references in Savela (2009)


  Data related to Depressariinae at Wikispecies See also Gelechioidea Talk page for comparison of some approaches to gelechioid systematics and taxonomy.

  • Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) (2008): Australian Faunal Directory – Depressariidae [sic]. Version of 9 October 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  • Fauna Europaea (FE) (2009): Depressariidae [sic]. Version 2.1, 22 December 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  • Hodges, R.W. (1999): The Gelechioidea. In: Kristensen, N.P. (ed.): Handbuch der Zoologie/Handbook of Zoology (Volume IV – Arthropoda: Insecta. Part 35: Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies 1): 131–158. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin & New York. ISBN 3-11-015704-7
  • Lepiforum (2010): Depressariidae [sic] (Flachleibmotten) in Mitteleuropa [in German]. Version of 28 March 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  • Savela, Markku (2009): Lepidoptera and Some Other Life FormsDepressiinae [sic]. Version of 20 August 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  • Scoble, Malcolm J. (1995): The Lepidoptera: Form, Function and Diversity. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 0-19-854952-0