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Australian Wildlife

  Tobacco Moth (Ephestia elutella)





Tobacco Moth | Ephestia elutella photo
Tobacco Moth

Image by USDA-ARS-GMPRC Image Database - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Tobacco Moth | Ephestia elutella photo
Tobacco Moth larva

Image by USDA-ARS-GMPRC Image Database - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)



TOBACCO MOTH FACTS

Identification
The Tobacco Moth is an introduced pest species of moth. The adult moth has brownish grey forewings crossed with two light bands. The hindwings are paler and plain grey. The caterpillar is dark to start with, becoming yellow with a dark line down its back, and a dark brown head. It shelters in loose silk web amongst the food source. The pupae are light brown turning black before the adult emerges.

Size
wingspan about 16mm

Habitat
often found in warehouses and other areas where food or tobacco is stored.

Food
The Tobacco Moth caterpillar is a pest on stored products, especially cocoa beans and tobacco, but also infests nuts, dried fruit and cereals. Adult moths do not feed

Breeding
The female lays eggs on or near the products. The eggs hatch into larvae which feed on the product producing large webs of silk. The larvae move off the food to pupate in the storage packaging or in the storage structure.

Range
a world wide pest found all over Australia.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Pyralidae
Genus:Ephestia
Species:elutella
Common Name:Tobacco Moth

Relatives in same Genus
  Mediterranean Flour Moth (E. kuehniella)