(1998) defined Coleophoridae by the following: 1) hindwing with Rs and M1 separate,
M3 and CuA1 separate, connate, or stalked, antennal pecten present. Males have
the valva divided into costal and saccular lobes (except subfamily Perolonchinae)
with the costal lobe developed as a free lobe.
The family, which includes three subfamilies, occurs worldwide with more than 1418 species in 43 genera (Hodges, 1998).
This subfamily is defined by the autapomorphy of the gnathos being fused to the tegumen and consisting of a sclerotized band with a mesial bulb bearing parallel rows of short spines. Other characters (parallelisms) include: 1) uncus absent, 2) aedeagus ankylosed, 3) female frenulum with two acanthi fused distally and appearing as a single acanthus, 4) female retinaculum with anteriorly directed scales between Sc and R and posteriorly directed scales/setae on Sc, 5) forewing with CuA1 and CuA2 stalked and directed toward posterior margin from end of medial cell (Hodges, 1998). Abdominal terga A1-7 each have two patches of spines arranged longitudinally instead of transversely (Scoble, 1992).
First instar larvae are mostly leaf miners, whereas second instars construct cases from fragments of leaves, frass, and silk (Scoble, 1992; Bucheli et al., 2002). Case bearing larvae mine or skeletonize the surface of the leaf or feed in seeds or flowers of hosts 34 plant families, mostly in monocots and dicots. Pupation occurs in the case (Scoble, 1992; Hodges, 1998).
The subfamily occurs worldwide, but are most diverse in the Holarctic Region, especially in the west Palearctic Region and central Asia (Baldizzone et al., 2006). The most recent catalogue of species includes 1342 species in five genera (Baldizzone et al., 2006).
References: Baldizzone et al. (2006), Bucheli et al. (2002), Capuse (1971, 1972, 1973, 1975), Common (1990), Falkovitsch (1972), Powell (1980), Razowski (1990), Sattler & Tremewan (1974, 1978), Scoble (1992), Stehr (1987), Toll (1952, 1962), Vives Moreno (1988).
Hodges (1998) defined this subfamily, formerly given family status, by the following parallelisms: 1) gnathos absent, 2) juxta with two, small, terminal lobes closely associated with the aedeagus, 3) signa paired with a heavily sclerotized projection arising from a light sclerotized, circular base, 4) female frenulum with anteriorly directed scales on CuA.
Larvae feed primarily on Onagraceae, but also on Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Halogoridaceae, and Rubiaceae (Hodges, 1998). Larvae mine leaves or feed in stems, roots, or seed pods, make galls, or live between spun leaves or flowers. The feeding strategy may change from the first to the last instar (Wagner et al., 2004)
The subfamily occurs primarily in the Holarctic Region and includes more than 60 species in six genera.
References: Clarke (1963), Koster & Sinev (2003), Riedl (1969), Stehr (1987), Wagner et al. (2004), Zagulyaev & Sinev (1981).
Hodges (1998) defined Blastobasinae by two parallelisms: 1) forewing with pterostigma, also present in some Teleiodini (Gelechiidae), 2) larva with submental pit, also present in Syringopainae (Deoclonidae). The gnathos is uniformly wide, fused to the tegumen, and sometimes incomplete mesially, the female frenulum consists of two or three acanthae, the hindwing has M3 and CuA1 connate or stalked, and an antennal notch may be present or absent.
Larvae feed on dead and living plant tissue, and some are predators on Homoptera (Adamski and Brown, 1989). Valentenia glandulella feeds on acorns of Quercus spp., and may infest more than a third of acorns from a single tree (Adamski, personal communication).
Blastobasinae includes more than 300 species in 22 genera and are most diverse in the New World. However, a large percentage of species in this subfamily remain undescribed.
References: Adamski and Brown (1989), Clarke (1963), Common (1990), Hodges (1978), Piskunov (1981), Powell (1976b), Stehr (1987).
Hodges (1998) defined Pterolonchinae by the following parallelisms: 1) abdominal second sternum with apodemes only, 2) abdominal terga with spiniform setae in band across segment, and 3) haustellum absent. In addition, the female retinaculum consists of diffusely distributed, anteriorly directed, and slightly upturned scales and the hindwing with M3 and Cu1 separate, both being ancestral conditions in the superfamily,
Larvae of Pterolonche are root borers in Centaurea (Asteraceae).
The subfamily includes eight species in two genera occurring in the Mediterranean region and South Africa with an introduction into North America.
References: Hodges (1978), Minet (1988), Vives Moreno (1986).