Gelechiidae, Stainton, 1854

Pohl, Greg, Anweiler, Gary, Schmidt, Christian & Kondla, Norbert, 2010, An annotated list of the Lepidoptera of Alberta, Canada, ZooKeys 38 (38), pp. 1-549: 79

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.38.383


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32. Gelechiidae  – gelechiid moths

A diverse family of moths with upturned palps, and with hindwings having a sinuate distal margin with the tip often extended into a sharp point. Most adults are drably marked with mottled brown, black, and white scales, but a few are brightly colored. Most species are active at night. Larvae of most species are leafrollers or leaftiers; a few species are seed feeders, leafminers and needleminers, or stem and root gall formers.

The family Gelechiidae  is a large, poorly known group, probably the most poorly known large family of Lepidoptera  in North America: Hodges (1999a) estimated that only 30% of species had been described. Approximately 2500 species are known worldwide. Lee et al. (2009) published a checklist of the North American Gelechiidae  listing 886 species; 121 of these are reported herein from AB.

32.1. Gelechiinae 

Minute to small (8–25 mm wingspan) moths with typical features of the family as described above.

The subfamily Gelechiinae  comprises the majority of described species of Gelechiidae  . Th e taxonomic state of this subfamily is poor, with many genera inadequately delimited and unrevised. Many species have not been adequately described or illustrated, so they are diffi cult or impossible to identify without examination of type material. Approximately 3500 species are known worldwide, 797 of which are known from North America. One hundred and ten species are reported from AB. Many more species undoubtedly occur in this province that have not been collected or have been collected but remain unidentified or misidentified in collections. Genera that are fairly well known are Caryocolum ( Huemer 1988)  , Bryotropha ( Rutten and Karsholt 2004)  , Chionodes ( Hodges 1999b)  , Coleotechnites  ( Freeman 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965), Deltophora ( Sattler 1979)  , Filatima  (in part, Clarke 1947; Hodges and Adamski 1997), Gnorimoschema  and related genera ( Povolný 1967, 1998a, 1998b, 1998c, 1998d, 2000; Miller 2000; Powell and Povolný 2001), and Prolita  and related genera ( Hodges 1966b). The tribe Teleiodini  has been revised recently at the genus level ( Lee and Brown 2008).