Pyralis farinalis Linnaeus, 1758
Meal Moth
(one synonym : Asopia domesticalis Zeller, 1847)
PYRALINAE,   PYRALIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Pyralis farinalis
(Photo: courtesy of Amy Prendergast, Perth, Western Australia)

The caterpillars of this moth are a cosmopolitan pest on stored grain. They are cream coloured with a brown head, and grow to a length of about 2 cms.

Pyralis farinalis
(Photo: courtesy of Laura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)

The adult moths have brown wings with arcs of white lines. On the forewings, these separate darker patches at the tip and base. The eyes have a green sheen. The moth typically rests with the tip of its abdomen turned up. The wingspan is about 2 cms.

Pyralis farinalis
(Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

The Pheromones for this species have been determined.

The species is found all over the world, including:

  • Canada,
  • Finland,
  • Great Britain,
  • Japan,

    and all of mainland Australia including

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 31.19, pp. 68, 349.

    Carl Linnaeus,
    Insecta Lepidoptera,
    Systema Naturae,
    Edition 10, Volume 1 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 533, No. 226.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths,
    CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 53.


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    (updated 8 January 2013, 17 September 2013)