Other Common Names
common name also spelled "Indianmeal Moth" and "Indian-meal Moth"
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Plodia interpunctella – (Hübner, 1813)
Phylogenetic sequence # 317300
species name often misspelled "interpunctata"; various other misspellings are common
Explanation of Names
INDIAN MEAL: another name for corn meal, which the moth's larvae were found feeding on by Asa Fitch (1809-1879), the New York State entomologist who coined the common name
The only species in this genus in North America.
Adult body 6-8.5 mm.; wingspan 13-20 mm.
Larva to 12 mm.
Adult: bicolored forewing with the basal half light gray or whitish, and the distal half reddish-brown, coppery, or dark gray
hindwing white or pale gray
Larva: body whitish to yellowish, head yellow to reddish-brown, short prolegs on abdominal segment 3-6 and 10
native to South America; now cosmopolitan
Larvae are found in stored food products; adults are found indoors wherever food products are stored
Infests a wide variety of stored food products such as flour, oatmeal, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, powdered milk, biscuits, chocolate, and bird seed.
Several generations per year indoors.
Larvae spin silken threads as they crawl through stored products, creating a matted layer of product, frass, and pupal cases.
Covell, p. 407, plate 58 #20 (1)
live larvae image
(U. of Arkansas)
adult and larva illustrations
plus identification, food items, biology, control (William Lyon, Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet)
live adult and larva images
plus discussion on population, food items, biology (Gerry Conley, tardigrade.net)
drawings of all life stages
plus discussion on biology and control (Louise Kulzer, tardigrade.net)
from Penn State