Grain Moths

Grain Moths

 

moths from the family Pyraloidea,dangerous pests of grain, seed, foodstuffs, and feed. They inhabit granaries, food storage areas, mills, elevators, confectionery factories, bakeries, houses, and so forth in the upper layers of the pile down to a depth of 15 cm. The most widely found are the Mediterranean flour moth, the warehouse moth, the Indian-meal moth, and the meal moth.

The Mediterranean flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella) has a wingspread of 20–25 mm; its anterior wings are a gray with lightly marked black transverse stripes and dots, and its hind wings are muddy gray. The caterpillar is 20–25 mm long, light yellow, greenish, or pinkish. It is found in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America; in the USSR it is found everywhere but the Far North. The caterpillar does great damage to flour and less to groats, grain, rusks, pastries, dried fruits and vegetables, and other food products. Its web snares bits of matter and forms clumps which often clog mill machinery, pipes, and other equipment. There are between two and ten generations a year.

The warehouse moth (Ephestia elutella),also known as the seed, tobacco, cocoa, or chocolate moth, has a wing-spread of up to 17 mm, rusty gray anterior wings with two whitish bands, and pale gray hind wings. The caterpillar grows up to 17 mm long and is reddish pink or yellowish. It is found in Europe, Asia Minor and Middle Asia, America, Australia, and North Africa; in the USSR it is found in the central regions, in the Caucasus, and in Middle Asia. It causes damage to grain, cereal products, various seeds, tobacco and tobacco goods, cocoa beans, coffee beans, nuts, dried fruits and vegetables, confectionery goods, and so forth. The caterpillar first eats out the embryo of the kernel, then consumes the outside, forming clumps of the remainder with a web. There are two to four generations in a year.

The Indian-meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) has a wing-spread of 13–20 mm; its anterior wings are lead brown, whitish yellow at the base, and the hind wings are whitish with brown exterior edges. The caterpillar is 12–16 mm long, greenish, white, or pinkish. It is found in Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa, North America, and Australia; in the USSR it is found in the southern regions and is encountered in heated barns and rooms of the central and northern regions. The caterpillar damages grain, cereal products, sunflower seeds, dried fruits and vegetables, and other products. It lives in tubules which are glued together from food products using the web. There are up to six generations in one year.

The meal moth (Pyralis farinalis) has a wingspread of up to 30 mm; its anterior wings are purple-brown at the base and tip, with a broad ash-yellow strip in the middle; hind wings are dark gray with wavy lines. The caterpillar is up to 20 mm long, yellowish white, and covered with sparse short hairs. It is encountered in Europe, North Africa, North America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand; in the USSR it is found everywhere but the Far North. In the central and northern regions it lives in heated barns and rooms and damages flour, grain, groats, confectionery goods, bran, hay, straw, combined feed, and so forth. Caterpillars live in groups in tubules made from flour and grain particles woven together with a web, close to the food products and mainly in places with increased humidity. There are two to five generations a year.

A. A. BRUDNAIA

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