Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Tinea bisselliella, Tinea lanariella, Tinea crinella, Tinea destructor, Tineola furciferella
6 to 7 mm long. Wingspan 12 to 14 mm.
Head: Yellowish-orange, long haired (scaled). Palpi long, folded, brownish, underside lighter, scaled. Eyes of male large. Antenna: Grayish-brown.
Thorax: Pale yellowish-brown.
Wings: Silky, pale yellowish-brown, immaculate. May have a faint brownish dot in discal cell. Hindwings and fringe lighter pale yellow, shiny.
Legs: Yellowish-brown, some white on feet. Long spurs.
Abdomen: Pale yellowish-brown.
Originally from western Eurasia. Widely distributed nowadays.
Larva feeds on wool clothing and other animal products, amid webbing (as opposed to making a portable case as the case-making clothes moth does). Dead insects (including collections), feathers and hair, bran, semolina and flour (possibly preferring wheat flour), biscuits, casein.
Adults do not feed. Eggs hatch in 10 days. Larva white, head and cervical shield dark brown; makes slight silken galleries, but no case. Can have between 5 and 45 instars, and will take from 30 days to 2 years to fully develop into an adult. Prefer dark conditions.
Parasite: Chalcid Wasp Tetrastichus tineivorus
Considered a pest. Its numbers seem to be declining due to the use of synthetic fibers for clothing (UK Moths
Holotype as Tinea lanariella by Clemens, 1859 #5. Locality: unknown. In the U. S. National Museum, Smithsonian, Washington, D. C.
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1859, Vol. 11, pp. 257 to 258 by Clemens.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 1901-03, Vol. #5, pg. 185 by August Busck.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir #63 by Forbes.