Subordo Glossata

(after Kristensen, 1984)

According to present knowledge the glossatans can be grouped into four higher taxa which in a formal classification may be ranked as infraorders: Dacnonypha, Neopseustina, Exoporia, and Heteroneura (= Frenatae).

The following traits are considered to be autapomorphic of the ground plan of the Glossata:

1. Mandible non-functional after pupal-adult ecdysis, without genuine articulation basally (and often strongly reduced).

2. Maxilla devoid of sclerotized lacinia. Kristensen, 1968, interpreted a membranous fold on the inner side of the maxiliary base in the Dacnonypha-Eriocraniidae as a lacinia vestige; the cranial lacinia flexor muscle is also retained in these moths. However, a sclerotized distal lobe of the lacinia is absent in the Glossata whereas it has been retained in the other suborders.

3. Maxillary galeae forming a proboscis, spirally coiled in repose. The classical and very convincing autapomorphy of the Glossata. The proboscis has been secondarily reduced on numerous occasions within the Exoporia and Heteroneura.

4. Prelabio - hypopharyngeal lobe narrow, hypopharyngeal base without infrabuccal pouch. The lobe is actually distinct only in the lowest infraorders, i.e., Dacnonypha and Neopseustina.

5. Tritocerebral commissure incorporated into suboesophageal ganglionic mass. This derived trait has been found in the Dacnonypha-Eriocraniidae as well as Exoporia and Heteroneura and can surely be attributed to the ground plan of the Glossata.

6. Pupal anteclypeus non-setose and not distinctly demarcated. This condition has been recorded from the lowest glossatan grades i.e. the taxa with decticous pupae (Eriocraniidae, Acanthopteroctetidae) and it is tentatively attributed to the glossatan ground plan.

7. Larva with articulated "spinneret" on the apex of the prelabio-hypopharyngeal lobe.