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Hyposmocoma inversella.JPG
Scientific classification

Butler, 1881
  • BubalocerasWalsingham, 1907
  • EuperissusButler, 1881
  • NeelysiaWalsingham, 1907
  • Hyposmochoma
  • AgonismusWalsingham, 1907
  • AphthonetusWalsingham, 1907
  • RhinomactrumWalsingham, 1907
  • DysphoriaWalsingham, 1907
  • EuhyposmocomaSwezey, 1913
  • HyperdasysellaT. B. Fletcher, 1940
  • HyperdasysWalsingham, 1907
  • PhthoraulaMeyrick, 1935
  • EuperissusButler, 1881
  • SemnoprepiaWalsingham, 1907
  • PetrochroaBusck, 1914 [1]
  • DiplosaraMeyrick, 1883

Hyposmocoma is a genus of moths with more 350 species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The genus was first described by Arthur Gardiner Butler in 1881. Most species of Hyposmocoma have plant-based diets, but four species, such as Hyposmocoma molluscivora, eat snails. The caterpillars spin silk, which they then use to capture and eat snails. These are the first caterpillars known to eat snails (or mollusks of any kind). [2]


Some species are amphibious. This trait has evolved at least three times within this genus. [3]


There are a number of undescribed species.

See also

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  1. Busck, August (1914). "New Microlepidoptera from Hawaii". Insecutor Inscitiae Menstruus. 2 (7): 104–105.
  2. Rubinoff D, Haines WP (July 2005). "Web-spinning caterpillar stalks snails". Science. 309 (5734): 575. doi:10.1126/science.1110397. PMID   16040699.
  3. Roach, John (July 21, 2005). "Flesh-Eating Caterpillars Discovered in Hawaii". National Geographic News. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011.