Aglossa pinguinalis Linnaeus, 1758)
Grease Moth or Large Tabby
(one synonym : Aglossa cuprina Zeller, 1872)
PYRALINAE,   PYRALIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Elaine McDonald, Nicholls Rivulet, Tasmania)

The Caterpillars of this species are a pest in commercial and domestic situations. They are dark grey with sparse hairs and black mandibles. They have been found feeding on :

  • grain and grain products,
  • dung.

    They spin silken web through their foodstuff, making commercial materials unsaleable.


    (Photo: courtesy of the Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The adult moths have brown or grey forewings with a pattern including a number of dark marks along the costa. The hindwings are plain pale brown or grey. The wingspan is about 4 cms.

    The adult moths feed on grease in a variety of situations, such as:

  • Butter, and
  • Corpses.

    The eggs are oval and white.

    The species occurs worldwide, including :

  • Finland,
  • Nederlands,
  • U.K.,
  • U.S.A.,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Tasmania.


    Further reading:

    Carl Linnaeus,
    Insecta Lepidoptera,
    Systema Naturae,
    Edition 10, Volume 1 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 533, No. 232.

    Pinero F. Sanchez and Lopez F. J. Perez
    Coprophagy in Lepidoptera: observational and experimental evidence in the pyralid moth Aglossa pinguinalis,
    Journal of Zoology,
    Volume 244, number 3, 1998, pp. 357-362.


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    (updated 14 January 2011, 21 June 2019)