Ceratophaga

Ceratophaga

Ceratophaga is a genus of moths belonging to the family Tineidae. There are currently 16 described species. Most species (12) are found in Africa with three found in Asia and one, C. vicinella, found in the southeastern United States.

The larvae of most tineids (e.g. clothes moths) have adapted to feeding on non-botanical sources but Ceratophaga are especially remarkable in that they feed, apparently exclusively, on solid keratin from dead vertebrates. For most species this means the horns and hooves of ungulates but the North American C. vicinella feeds on the shells of the tortoise [polyphemus].

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