The Acanthopteroctetidae are a family of butterflies ( Lepidoptera). They are together with the closely related moths deceit ( Eriocraniidae ) with which they did not stand in a sister relationship, the most primitive members of the suborder Glossata, but differ markedly from the more primitive sub- systems outside of the Glossata. Their occurrence is known, with one exception, Catapterix crimaea that was found in the Ukraine on the Crimean peninsula, until now only from western North America.


The moths reach a wingspan of 11-16 millimeters and have a slim build and very narrow wings. The front wings are variably patterned and have an iridescent shimmer in some species. Your wing scales are hollow. The animals are just like the mirage moths no Saugrüsselmuskulatur. Your labial palps are reduced and one to tripartite, the Maxillarpalpen have five members. In addition to the compound eyes they do not have simple eyes ( ocelli ). The tibiae have on the front legs do not, in the middle and one on the hind legs four spurs. In the females of Acanthopteroctetes unifascia the genitals are converted into a coring apparatus with which they pierce their eggs in the leaves, where later the caterpillars nate.

The anatomy and lifestyle of the caterpillar is known so far only from Acanthopteroctetes unifascia. Her head has six eyes and point is somewhat obscured by the overhanging prothorax. Her three Thorakalbeinpaare are fully developed, in addition to the Nachschieber they only have on the tenth segment prolegs. They live as leaf miners in plants of the genus coffers flowers ( Ceanothus ). Pupation takes place in a cocoon spun on the ground between dead plant parts.


  • Acanthopteroctetes aurulenta, Davis, 1984
  • Acanthopteroctetes bimaculata, Davis, 1969
  • Acanthopteroctetes tripunctata, Brown, 1921
  • Acanthopteroctetes unifascia, Davis, 1978
  • Catapterix crimaea, Zagulajev & Sinev, 1988