Moths

Rest assurred under normal conditions Bogon moths are not a risk to our cloth items. The moths which pose a risk to our collection include the following: case-bearing clothes moths, and the common webbing clothes moths.


Casemaking Clothes Moth (Tinea pellionella)
Biology: 3/8 to 1/2 inch from wing tip to wing tip. Wings are long and narrow. Hind wings are trimmed with long hairs. Colour is buff with a brown touch and 3 dark dots on each front wing. Eyes are wider than the space between them. Larvae are a pale yellow colour. Eggs are creamy white when first laid then turn red.
Distribution and Habits: Larva spins a silk case interweaving some of the fibres it feeds on. When the larva moves, it drags the silk case along. If larvae becomes separated from the silk case, it will die. Larvae pupate in protected areas. Males are active flyers, but the females do not fly at all. Adults live only 4-6 days.
Webbing Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella)
Biology: Wings are buff or putty in colour and unspotted. The adult body is covered with shiny golden scales. Reddish hair can be found on the top of the head. Antennae are darker than the body. Length of folded wings is 1/4 to 1/3 inches. Hind wing margins are trimmed with long hairs.
Distribution and Habits: Distributed world-wide, most common of the fabric moths in the United States. Eggs are oval in shape, about 1/24 of an inch in length, and ivory in colour. Eggs are often laid in small groups. Eggs are laid among threads of clothing and fastened there by a gummy secretion. Damage to clothing is done by the larvae. Larva is translucent and has 3 pairs of jointed legs and 4 pairs of prolegs. Larva has short antennae, but no eyes. Larvae spin a feeding tunnel of silk. Larvae hatch and sometimes enter a dormant resting stage for no apparent reason that may last up to 24 months. Adults live 15-30 days.
Tineola bisselliella (webbing clothes moth) and Tinea pellionella (casing clothes moth), as well as Tineola walsinghami (plaster bagworm) all feed on proteinaceous materials such as skin, leather, hair, wool, silk, feathers, baleen, and will even feed on non-protein materials such as cotton, linen and paper when there are essential salts present in residues of food, perspiration or processing chemicals. — Dale Paul Kronkright (1991) Insect traps in conservation surveys Waac Newsletter Volume 13, Number 1, January pp 21-23.

Comments are closed.