Last modified on 18 January 2014, at 04:39

Ermine moth

Certain members of the unrelated snout moths (Pyralidae) are also known as "ermine moths".
Ermine moth
Yponomeuta evonymella01.jpg
Yponomeuta evonymella
Web covered tree 3.JPG
Communal larval web
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Ditrysia
Superfamily: Yponomeutoidea
Family: Yponomeutidae
Stephens, 1829
600 species

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, and some are minor pests in agriculture, forestry, and horticulture. Some of the adults are very attractive. Adult moths are minor pollinators.

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

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".[1]


  1. ^ Westwood, J. O. (October 1837). "A series of Articles on the Insects most Injurious to Cultivators -- No. 8. The small Ermine Moth". In Loudon, John Claudius. The Gardener's magazine and register of rural and domestic improvement 13: 434. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 

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