The Oecophoridae a family of moths ranging from very small to medium in size,
in fact the wingspan varies from 0.3 to 3 centimeters.
They belong to the superfamily Gelechioidea , and since both the phylogeny and the systematics of this superfamily are not yet fully resolved, also the Oecophoridae family is affected.
Some treatises, in fact, include only Oecophorinae and Stathmopodinae in this family, placing the other subfamilies elsewhere in the superfamily Gelechoidea (typically in Elachistidae , but occasionally also as independent families). They are cosmopolitan moths and unlike most of the larvae of other lepidoptera that feed on the live leaves of plants the caterpillars of Oecophoridae feed on decaying organic material such as leaves and dead wood. *
Of the more than 4000 known species of this family, most of them live in Oceania (over 3000) where many species have adapted to feed on the abundant resources of dead eucalyptus leaves. *
Adult Oecophoridae moths often lack bright colors, as their various shades of brown help to hide them from birds (and entomologists) when they rest among dead vegetation or on tree trunks during the day. However, even these species are often attractive due to their speckled and / or finely patterned pattern, while other species, especially those that mimic lichen, are extremely beautiful. *
* Hoare, R. J. B. 2005: Hierodoris (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Gelechoidea: Oecophoridae), and overview of Oecophoridae. Fauna of New Zealand 54, 100 pp.