Eventually, this section of the site will include detailed analysis of the entire moth fauna of Block Island. For now, it includes mainly brief summaries of components of the fauna, namely families. Click on families from the list at the bottom of this page to find my summaries.

I so far have published treatments of two portions of Block Island’s moth fauna, Pterophoridae and Zygaenoidea. I plan to publish treatments of the remainder of the fauna in a series of special issues (all online only and open access) of Rhode Island Naturalist, the bulletin of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey (RINHS). An introductory article to this series may be found in the spring 2023 issue of the bulletin.

All major groups of macrolepidoptera are well-described, with only a small portion of species globally awaiting description. This permits straightforward comparisons of species diversity of the major groups globally, in North America, and on Block Island. More than 73,500 described species of macromoths occur worldwide; of these, more than 5,400 (7.3%) are found in the continental US and Canada. 540 species, or about 10% of the North American fauna, have been documented on Block Island.

Figure 1. Relative species diversity of the superfamilies of macrolepidoptera worldwide, in North America north of Mexico, and on Block Island.

Taxonomic list of the moth families of Block Island with links to all family and superfamily pages on this site. Each linked page itself has a link to the corresponding node in the Identify section of the site. Asterisked families are represented on Block Island by only one species. Bolded taxa are those with published treatments.

Nepticuloidea: Nepticulidae, Opostegidae*

Adeloidea: Heliozelidae, Prodoxidae*

Tischerioidea: Tischeriidae

Tineoidea: Tineidae, Psychidae*

Gracillarioidea: Gracillariidae, Bucculatricidae

Yponomeutoidea: Yponomeutidae, Attevidae*, Plutellidae*, Glyphipterigidae, Argyresthiidae, Lyonetiidae, Bedelliidae*

Gelechioidea: Autostichidae, Lecithoceridae*, Oecophoridae, Depressariidae, Cosmopterigidae, Gelechiidae, Elachistidae, Coleophoridae, Batrachedridae, Scythrididae, Blastobasidae, Momphidae, Stathmopodidae

Pterophoroidea: Pterophoridae

Carposinoidea: Carposinidae*

Schreckensteinioidea: Schreckensteiniidae*

Choreutoidea: Choreutidae

Tortricoidea: Tortricidae

Cossoidea: Cossidae*, Sesiidae

Zygaenoidea: Zygaenidae, Limacodidae

Pyraloidea: Pyralidae, Crambidae


Drepanoidea: Drepanidae

Lasiocampoidea: Lasiocampidae

Bombycoidea: Saturniidae, Sphingidae

Geometroidea: Geometridae

Noctuoidea: Notodontidae, Erebidae, Euteliidae, Nolidae, Noctuidae

  • Hunt, A.S., Matthews, D.L., 2020. Pterophoridae recorded on Block Island (Rhode Island, USA), 2018–2019. News of the Lepidopterists’ Society 62(2): 68–74.
  • Hunt, A.S., 2021. Moths of Block Island (Rhode Island, USA) I: Zygaenoidea. Northeastern Naturalist 28(4): 497–510.
  • Hunt, A.S., 2023. Moths of Block Island: Introduction. Rhode Island Naturalist 18(1): 1–6.

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