T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Caterpillar of the Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Division: Ditrysia
Family: Pyralidae
Tribe: Phycitini
Genus: Plodia
Species: P. interpunctella
Binomial name: Plodia interpunctella
Common name: Indian Pantry Moth, Indian meal moth, Weevil moth, Pantry moth, Flour moth, Grain moth.

Plodia interpunctellais is a pyraloid moth of the family Pyralidae. Its larvae (caterpillars) are commonly known as waxworms like those of its relatives, though they are not the particular waxworms often bred as animal food. They are a common grain-feeding pest found around the world whose larvae can infest a wide range of dry foodstuffs of vegetable origin, such as cereal, bread, pasta, rice, couscous, flour, spices, or dried fruits and nuts. The food they infest will often seem to be webbed together.
Adults are 8–10 mm in length with 16– to 20-mm wingspans. The outer half of their forewings are bronze, copper, or dark grey in colour, while the upper half is yellowish-grey, with a dark band at the intersection between the two. The larvae are off-white with brown heads. There are 5-7 larval instars. When these larvae mature, they are usually about 12 mm long. They have five pairs of well-developed prolegs that help them move considerable distances to pupate.
The entire lifecycle of this species may take 30 to 300 days. Female moths lay between 60 and 400 eggs on a food surface, which is ordinarily smaller than 0.5 mm and not sticky. The eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days. The larval stage lasts from 2 to 41 weeks, depending on the temperature. After larvae or moths have been found, it is important to throw out all food sources, not in very tightly sealed containers. Moth larvae can chew through plastic bags and thin cardboard, so even unopened packages may become infested. They are also notoriously difficult to get rid of and can crawl on ceilings and spin cocoons in rooms other than the kitchen or pantry where they hatched. Last instar larvae are able to travel significant distances before they pupate so when seeking the source of an infestation, the search thus cannot be limited to the immediate area where pupae are discovered. (Wikipedia).

The moth.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/