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Eudonia is a large and widespread genus in the grass moth family (Crambidae), subfamily Scopariinae. There is no common name for the roughly 250 species placed here; new species are still being described regularly. Although the genus was proposed early in the 19th century already, many of these moths were for a long time retained in Scoparia, the type genus of the subfamily and a close relative of Eudonia. A few small genera have been proposed for separation from Eudonia, but given the size of this group this is not particularly convincing;[according to whom?] thus, all are retained here pending a comprehensive phylogenetic review.

Couza Mandaio 070506 4.jpg
Eudonia angustea imago
Oza dos Ríos, Galicia, Spain
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Division: Ditrysia
(unranked): Obtectomera
Superfamily: Pyraloidea
Family: Crambidae
Subfamily: Scopariinae
Genus: Eudonia
Billberg, 1820
Type species
Phalaena mercurella
Linnaeus, 1758
About 250 species

Boiea Zetterstedt, 1839
Borea (lapsus)
Dipleurina Chapman, 1912
Dipluerina (lapsus)
Epileucia (nomen nudum)
Malageudonia Leraut, 1989
Vietteina Leraut, 1989
Witlesia Chapman, 1912
Wittlesia (lapsus)


Description and ecologyEdit

They are usually greyish-brownish and rather inconspicuous moths, though some are more boldly patterned in blackish, pale and even yellow hues. Like their close relatives, they lack the loop formed by forewing veins 1a/1b, and their labial palps are elongated and project straightly, appearing like a pointed "beak". The genitals are of characteristically simple shape in this genus; while they cannot usually be depended upon to differ significantly between species, they allow to distinguish this genus from similar moths. In the males, the clasper's harpe has few if any unusual features, the aedagus is usually a rather nondescript rod, and the vesica bears a characteristic small disc with grainy surface. In females, the ductus bursae is kinked at the junction of the forward (membranous) and hind (sclerotized) parts, with a particularly heavy sclerotized triangle bearing small teeth half-hidden in the kink.[1]

They are common across the world's continents except in deserts, on high mountains, and in glaciated areas. In addition, they are apparently even able to disperse over water well, as evidenced by the Polynesian radiations which occur mainly from Hawaiian Islands to the Austral Islands as well as on New Zealand; several of these island endemics might nowadays be rare or extinct due to disappearance of their food plants, but overall the genus is not yet very well studied. As far as is known, the caterpillar larvae of most Eudonia feed on mosses, namely of subclasses Bryidae and Dicranidae; some also eat lichen. In a few cases, other food plants have been recorded or suspected, such as Colobanthus pearlworts or woody asterids of genus Olearia (daisy-bushes).[2]



  1. ^ Clarke (1986)
  2. ^ Clarke (1986), and see references in Savela


  • Clarke, John Frederick Gates (1986): Pyralidae and Microlepidoptera of the Marquesas Archipelago. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 416: 1-485. PDF fulltext (214 MB!)
  • Savela, Markku (2010) Lepidoptera and Some Other Life FormsDiaphania indica. Version of April 6, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  • Leraut, P., 1984: Contribution à l'étude des Scopariinae. 4. Révision des types décrits de la région paléarctique occidentale, description de dix nouveaux taxa et ébauche d'une liste des espèces de cette région. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Nouvelle Revue d'Entomologie Alexanor: 157-192.
  • Leraut, P., 1985: Contribution à l'étude des Scopariinae. 5. Quatre nouveaux taxa d'Afghanistan. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Nouvelle Revue d'Entomologie N.S. 2 (3): 325-329.
  • Leraut, P., 1986: Contribution à l'étude des Scopariinae. 6. Dix nouveaux taxa, dont trois genres, de Chine et du nord de l'Inde. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Nouvelle Revue d'Entomologie N.S. 3 (1): 123-131.
  • Li, W.-c., 2012: One new species of the genus Eudonia Billberg (Lepidoptera: Crambidae: Scopariinae) from China. Entomotaxonomia 34 (2): 267-269.
  • Li, W.-C. ; H.-H. Li & M. Nuss, 2012: Taxonomic revision of the genus Eudonia Billberg, 1820 from China (Lepidoptera: Crambidae: Scopariinae). Zootaxa 3273: 1-27.
  • Nuss, M., 1998: The Scopariinae and Heliothelinae stat. rev. (Lepidoptera: Pyraloidea: Crambidae) of the Oriental Region-a revisional synopsis with descriptions of new species from the Philippines and Sumatra. Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo Supplement 17: 475-528.
  • Sasaki, A., 1998: Notes on the Scopariinae from Taiwan, with descriptions of nine new species (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Tinea 15 (3): 191-201.

External linksEdit