Ennominae is the largest subfamily of the geometer moth family (Geometridae), with some 9,700 described species in 1,100 genera. Most species are fairly small, though some (such as the peppered moth) grow to be considerably large. This subfamily has a global distribution. It includes some species that are notorious defoliating pests. The subfamily was first described by Philogène Auguste Joseph Duponchel in 1845.[2]

Ourapteryx species
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Subfamily: Ennominae
(Duponchel, 1845)
and see text

The status of several tribes is debated.[citation needed] For example, the Boarmiini are sometimes massively expanded to include the Bistonini, Bupalini, Erannini, Gnophini, Melanolophini, Phaseliini and Theriini. The Nacophorini and perhaps the Campaeini might need to be merged with the Lithinini, and all three might warrant merging into the Ennomini.[citation needed] The group, sometimes separated as Cassymini, is tentatively included in the Abraxini here. The Alsophilinae, usually treated as a small subfamily in their own right, might simply be a specialized lineage of Boarmiini.[3]

Selected genera


Tribe Baptini

Tribe Boarmiini

Tribe Bupalini

Tribe Caberini

Tribe Campaeini

Tribe Colotoini

Tribe Erannini

Tribe Gnophini

Tribe Gonodontini

Genera incertae sedis


Numerous genera have hitherto not been definitely assigned to a tribe.[4] These include:



In 2019, the first geometrid caterpillar in Baltic amber was discovered by German scientists. Described under Eogeometer vadens, it measured about 5 mm (0.20 in), and was estimated to be 44 million years old, dating back to Eocene epoch. It was described as the earliest evidence for the subfamily of Ennominae, particularly the tribe of Boarmiini.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Fischer, Thilo C.; Michalski, Artur; Hausmann, Axel (2019). "Geometrid caterpillar in Eocene Baltic amber (Lepidoptera, Geometridae)". Scientific Reports. 9 (1): Article number 17201. Bibcode:2019NatSR...917201F. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-53734-w. PMC 6868187. PMID 31748672.
  2. ^ "Australian Faunal Directory". biodiversity.org.au. Retrieved 2024-02-04.
  3. ^ Holloway (1994), Young (2008)
  4. ^ See references in Savela (2008)