Moths in this family are typically quite small; the range of wingspans is 7 - 25 mm. The labial palps are prominent, curving upwards, with the third segment long and tapered. The hind wings are typically trapezoid-shaped, with a pointed apex; the outer margin is concave below the apex. Wings are often fringed (Covell, 2005).
Life histories of the larvae are varied, ranging from leaf mining to gall forming to fruit feeding, among others. Some species are of economic importance as they feed on stored grains, for example. At least one species feeds on cotton bolls.
The common name refers to the adult moths' habit of twirling as they walk on a leaf, pivoting first in one direction and then another.
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