Angoumois Grain Moth
(formerly known as Alucita cerealella)
CHELARIINAE, GELECHIIDAE, GELECHIOIDEA
(Picture: courtesy of Casa Bernardo, Brasil)
This Caterpillar is an agricultural pest overseas and in Australia. It particularly attacks grain: the seeds of plants in the family POACEAE, such as:
as well as wild grasses.
The caterpillar bores into a seed, and feeds inside the seed covering. Curiously: the caterpillars do not survive on ground grain such as flour. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 1 cm.
The adult moths have a wingspan of about 1 cm. The forewings have a uniform colour, which can be between pale grey to dark brown. There are often one or two black spots on the forewings. The hindwings each have a fringe of hairs. The pheromones of this species have been identified.
The species occurs world-wide, for example in :
and all over Australia, including:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp. 68, 258.
Guillaume Antoine Olivier,
Encyclopédie Méthodique des Histoire Naturelle
Volume 4 (1789), p. 121, No. 15.
(updated 1 May 2009)