The monophyly of the Yponomeutoidea is demonstrated by a single autapomorphy, the presence of pleural lobes on 8th abdominal segment in the male. The taxonomic history of the superfamily is reviewed and the diagnostic characters listed. Fifteen informal suprageneric groups are included pending a phylogenetic reclassification of the superfamily. The groups are indicated by the most prominent genus contained in each: Acrolepia Curtis, Argyresthia Hübner, Atteva Walker, Bedellia Stainton, Glyphipterix Hübner, Heliodines Stainton, Leucoptera Hübner, Lyonetia Hübner, Ochsenheimeria Hübner, Orthotaelia Stephens, Plutella Schrank, Prays Hübner, Scythropia Hübner, Yponomeuta Latreille and Ypsolopha Latreille. For each group autapomorphies and a tentative list of included nominal genera are given. The diagnostic characters of the genus groups are tabulated. The Ochsenheimeriidae and Lyonetiidae (with subfamilies Bedelliinae and Cemiostominae) are assigned to the Yponomeutoidea. Family group taxa excluded from the Yponomeutoidea after the year 1970 are reviewed. The Douglasiidae are excluded from the Yponomeutoidea and allocated to the Tineoidea. The Bucculatricidae, often included as subfamily in the Lyonetiidae, belong to the Tineoidea. Four genus groups, the Homadaula, Lucturu, Schreckensteinia and Urodus groups, are discussed and excluded from the Yponomeutoidea. Their exact systematic position needs further study.