But why is it considered "primitive". Well, it bears the following combination of characteristics: chewing mouthparts (most Lepidoptera have sucking mouthparts or no mouthparts at all as adults); raised hair-scales and the forewings and hind wings are similar in shape and venation. These are considered basal features in the Lepidoptera.
Nine Australian micropterigid species are known. Most occur in eastern rainforests including Tasmania. Several species are purplish or with dark bands and are of similar size. All are presently included in the genus Sabatinca but have been divided into two groups. One, "The Australian Group", includes the "golden species" of which S. sterops is a member.
S. sterops is known from specimens taken from Cooktown to Mission Beach, Queensland. With the tens of specimens we found at our site on Mt Lewis, there must be millions of the moths spread over its geographic range.
Zborowski, P., Edwards, T. 2007. A Guide to the Australian Moths. CSIRO Publishing, 214 pp. Collingwood, Vic.