Case-Making Clothes Moth
(one synonym : Phalaena zoolegella Scopoli, 1763)
TINEINAE , TINEIDAE , TINEOIDEA
Caterpillar in its case
(Photo: courtesy of Pest Supply)
The Caterpillar is off-white with a dark brown head and prothorax. The caterpillar lives in a silk case covered in fibres from its food items. The caterpillar feeds on anything containing keratin, such as wool, feathers, and even animal corpses. It grows to a length of about 1 cm.
It pupates in its case, and extrudes the pupa just before the adult moth emerges.
The adult moth is has forewings that are pale brown speckled with grey and black. Each forewing is crossed by two vague incomplete dark bars. The hindwings are off-white, shading to brown at the margins. The wingspan is about 1 cm.
The species is found as several subspecies all over the world, including
This species was unfortunately introduced into Australia by accident, now being found over much of the country, including
Further reading :
The Best of Wildlife in the Suburbs,
Oxford University Press Australia 1993, pp. 125-128.
Edition 10, Volume 1 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 536, No. 254.
Gaden S. Robinson & Ebbe S. Nielsen,
Tineid Genera of Australia,
Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 2,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 1993, pp. ix, x, 10, 246-252, 263, 279.
(updated 3 February 2009, 31 July 2015)