Kwik-Key to Common Families of Lepidoptera

Answer for your specimen:

If you have reached this part of the key, your specimen should be a small gray or brown moth with paddle-shaped front wings.   Each hind wing should have three anal veins (unbranched).

The three likely families are:


Clothes moths

This is a family of small, delicate moths that are mottled tan, brown, or grayish in color. At rest, most species hold their wings tent-like over the body. When spread, the wings are narrow, usually rounded near the tip, and often bordered by a fringe of long hairs.


Snout or grass moths

These small to medium-sized moths usually have long labial palps that project forward or upward.   The Sc vein of the hind wing is forked before it reaches the wing margin.   The base of the proboscis is clothed with scales.


Leafrolling moths

These are small brown or gray moths with mottled or banded front wings.   The labial palps project forward with the terminal segment bending downward.   The Sc vein of the hind wing is unbranched.  The front wings tend to be curved and squared off at the apex and, when folded over the back, create a bell-shaped silhouette.