Case-Making Clothes Moth
(one synonym : Phalaena zoolegella Scopoli, 1763)
TINEINAE, TINEIDAE, TINEOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Entomart)
The Caterpillar is off-white with a dark brown head, and a split dark brown shield on its prothorax. The caterpillar lives in a silk case covered in fibres from its food items. The caterpillar is a pest, and is thought to feed on anything containing keratin, such as
but is also reported to feed on
The caterpillar 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 three vague dark spots. The hindwings are off-white, shading to fawn along the costas. 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.
Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 42.
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, 11 December 2017, 14 August 2019)