Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Niditinea fuscella (Linnaeus, 1758)
Oecophora frigidella Packard, 1867
Tinea nubilipennella, Tinea griseella
Long list of synonyms.
7 to 8 mm long. Wingspan about 14 mm.
Dull brown-grey forewings with each having three dark spots. The hindwings are a silvery white with long fringe.
Specimen identified by DNA analysis (BOLD). (1)
Head: Pale brownish-yellow, long haired (scaled); tuft between antenna reddish-brown. Palpi long, folded; yellowish-brown, darker on underside.
Antenna: Dark brown hardly visible yellowish-gray rings. 2/3 as long as wing.
Forewings: Pale brownish-yellow, mottled with darker specks. A heavily mottled brown streak longitudinally from about mid wing to tip with a dark brown spot on each side of streak near center of wing, and another spot between mid-wing and tip. Lighter mottling along costal edge. Lower (inner) margin has a brown spot near base of wing. Fringe blended same color as wing at tip, lower or inner fringe is longer and lighter with brown specks. Hindwings and fringe bluish-gray.
Legs: Brown with white tips on all segments. Underside of legs yellowish-brown.
Found nearly worldwide.
It may be an introduced species.
The main flight period is May to October but adults can be seen any month.
Larvae feed on dry animal and plant remains and are often found in bird nests feeding on shed feathers and feces. Also found in grains and stored products.
Commonly found in bird nests and with domestic chickens. Busck bred this species repeatedly from the nests of tame pigeons in Washington, D.C.
Widespread species which is more common than the number of photos on Bug Guide suggests. Often overlooked with the drab colors and small size.
Holotype as Tinea nubilipennella by Clemens, 1859. #6. Locality: Unknown. In Academy Natural Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Holotype as Oecophora frigidella male by Packard, 1868. Locality: Caribou Island, Labrador, Canada. In Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Mass (not listed in Vol. 152 MCZ).
Syntypes in Museum of Comparative Zoology, New York. Both syntypes females #1549 in very poor condition with the abdomen missing from one.
Holotype as Tinea griseella by Chambers, 1873. Locality: Kentucky, U.S.A.
Syntypes (2 males, MCZ#1389). One syntype in very poor condition with head, abdomen and left forewing missing.
Many Tineidae are similar.
Compare on the pinned plates of Moth Photographers Group
Robinson, G.S. & E.S. Nielsen. 1983. The Microlepidoptera described by Linnaeus and Clerck. Systematic Entomology
8: 211. (2)
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1859, Vol. 11, pg. 259 by Clemens.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia, 1863-64, Vol. 2, pg. 130 by Stainton.
Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, 1866-68, Vol. 11, pg. 62 by Packard.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1873, Vol. 5, pg. 88 by Chambers.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1882-83, Vol. 10, pg. 171 by Walsingham.
Entomological News, 1900, Vol. 11, pp. 502 to 503: How a little Tineid larva lives on what is left of a big Cecropia caterpillar by Henry Skinner and Alfred F. Satterthwait.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 1901-03, Vol. 5, pp. 185 to 186 by Busck.
Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 1904, Vol. 27, pg. 777 by Busck.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1905, Vol. 31, pg. 47 by Dietz.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir #68 by Forbes.