Ermine moth

  (Redirected from Yponomeutidae)
Certain members of the unrelated snout moths (Pyralidae) are also known as "ermine moths." Spilosoma lubricipeda is an unrelated moth with the common name "white ermine."

The family Yponomeutidae are known as the ermine moths, with several hundred species, most of them in the tropics. The larvae tend to form communal webs,[1] and some are minor pests in agriculture, forestry, and horticulture. Some of the adults are very attractive. Adult moths are minor pollinators.

Ermine moth
Yponomeuta evonymella01.jpg
Yponomeuta evonymella
Web covered tree 3.JPG
Communal larval web
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Yponomeutoidea
Family: Yponomeutidae
Stephens, 1829
600 species

There are five or six subfamilies. Some authors also include the closely related Plutellidae as yet another subfamily:


The following genera do not have assigned subfamilies available:


Larvae of Ermine moths at the bottom of their cocoon

Ermine moths are small to medium-sized moths varying in wingspan from 8 to 31 mm (0.3 to 1.2 in). The heads mostly have smooth scales, the haustellum is naked and the labial palps are curved upwards. The maxillary palps usually consist of one or two segments. The wings are long, often with fringes on the trailing edges of the hindwings. The colour is usually white, pale grey or drab, often with many dark speckles.[2]

Adult ermine moths are mostly nocturnal.

The larvae are leaf-webbers, leaf skeletonizers, leafminers or needleminers and are found on a variety of host plants. Some cause economic damage to crops and trees.[2]

Species (selection)Edit

Better-known species include:


The word Yponomeutidae comes from the Ancient Greek ὑπό (ypo) meaning under and νομός (nomós) meaning food or dwelling, thus "feeding secretly, or burrow".[3]


  1. ^ James, David G. (2017). The Book of Caterpillars: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from Around the World. University of Chicago Press. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-226-28736-2.
  2. ^ a b Capinera, John L. (2008). Encyclopedia of Entomology. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 1360–1361. ISBN 978-1-4020-6242-1.
  3. ^ Westwood, J. O. (October 1837). Loudon, John Claudius (ed.). "A series of Articles on the Insects most Injurious to Cultivators -- No. 8. The small Ermine Moth". The Gardener's Magazine and Register of Rural and Domestic Improvement. 13: 434.

External linksEdit