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Tineola bisselliella

Webbing Clothes Moth at Conder, ACT

3 images

Tineola bisselliella at Conder, ACT - 26 Jan 2020
Tineola bisselliella at Conder, ACT - 26 Jan 2020
Tineola bisselliella at Conder, ACT - 26 Jan 2020

Identification history

Tineola bisselliella 16 Feb 2020 GlennCocking
Edosa ochracea 4 Feb 2020 ibaird
Edosa ochracea 3 Feb 2020 GlennCocking
Unidentified 3 Feb 2020 michaelb

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Author's notes

Size - 5mm..... Conder, ACT

21 comments

michaelb wrote:
   4 Feb 2020
Note that the colour in the photo is much darker than reality. The background was white paper, and the moth was a light brown or off-white. The length of body and wings was only 5mm.
These moths are only found inside my house and there a quite a lot of them.
michaelb wrote:
   4 Feb 2020
Do these guys eat clothes? If so how do get rid of them?
donhe wrote:
   4 Feb 2020
Little is known of the biology of most moths.
Most were named and classified by study of adult specimens.
Can you capture some of these moths, and see if you can get a female to lay some eggs, then offer the larvae various food-stuffs, and see what they accept? Note that the Tineidae larvae that are known to attack textiles only eat animal hair like wool, not cotton or polyester, etc.
michaelb wrote:
   5 Feb 2020
So far, over several months, I've had dozens of them in my house. The most notable behaviour is that they like to hide in dark places and that they like to rest on cotton towels or blankets. They tend to come out of hiding at night. I've not seen any larvae.
   5 Feb 2020
Unfortunately, it sounds like you're likely to have some larvae somewhere!
michaelb wrote:
   5 Feb 2020
Is there an easy way do get rid of them?
donhe wrote:
   6 Feb 2020
Fumigation will not kill all the eggs. Freezing the clothes will not kill eggs in crannies.
Actually : yes. Dump all clothes and carpets and curtains etc that contain of animal fibres like wool, and replace them all by cotton and synthetics.
michaelb wrote:
   6 Feb 2020
Thanks for humorous suggestion Don. Unfortunately in Canberra's winters woollen garments are essential for my survival. I'll just have to try to minimise the population.
donhe wrote:
   6 Feb 2020
Try this one: wait for a winter day when the air temperature is below -10, and open all doors , windows, cupboard and wardrobe doors and drawers, etc, and let nature do the job for you.

Or: put all your clothes in the freezer for a spell, and meanwhile spray alcohol (eg methys, perfume, vodka) into all joints and crannies in your wardrobe and nearby in the room where they are occurring.
donhe wrote:
   6 Feb 2020
Actually this may all be for nought, as Edosa ochracea larvae may not be lanaphagous. That was why I originally suggested that you rear some and find out. Then if you report your findings, we would all know.
michaelb wrote:
   8 Feb 2020
I'm not sure what you mean by lanaphagous. Do you mean monophagous?
Thanks for your suggestions.
donhe wrote:
   8 Feb 2020
lana is Latin for wool, Lanaphagous = eats animal hair
michaelb wrote:
   9 Feb 2020
Ah... thanks Don
I've been checking items in my household and I've found evidence of woollen ones being eaten by moths, but so far no cotton items.
donhe wrote:
   9 Feb 2020
The woollen textile damage could be caused by other common lanaphagous Tineidae like
Monopis icterogastra, Niditinea fuscella, Tinea pellionella , Tineola bisselliella and Trichophaga tapetzella. Do you see any of these flying about indoors? Have you tried hanging a sticky fly paper in the bedroom and seeing if it traps other indoor moth species?
The larvae of most Tineidae species eat other things like wine corks, Grass Trees, rotting wood, Fungi, flower buds, and should not be executed for textile damage, without a fair trial.
michaelb wrote:
   10 Feb 2020
I will continue to monitor the situation and report any new findings.
   10 Feb 2020
I've just received specimens from Michael and Christine (who posted the other current Edosa ochracea record) and will work out what they are.
   10 Feb 2020
Michael, Not sure if these are the same moths, but I had a large infestation of carpet moths a couple of years ago. I vacuumed larvae where I could find them but couldn't get to those behind and under bookcases etc so the infestation continued. I then bought some pantry moth traps (there are also similar traps for clothes moths) and put them in strategic places . It took a couple of years but I now see very few moths as opposed to seeing dozens at a time when it started.
michaelb wrote:
   11 Feb 2020
Thanks Alison
Carpet moths sounds like a likely possibility.
   12 Feb 2020
Specimens from the houses for records 4249329 and 4245676 include a species from the Tinea pellionella complex, possibly T. translucens. It has a variable pattern, from a darkish grey/brown (often with a few darker spots), through plain light yellow/beige to off white. It is hard to distinguish between light yellow specimens of Tinea translucens and the consistently light gold pattern of Tineola bisselliella, the common house moth. There are differences in their head structures, but I don’t have enough fresh specimens to be certain of Tineola bisselliella (and the structural differences are unlikely to be visible in a live photo). But the photos for records 4249329 and 4245676 are plain gold andI think we should recognise them as Tineola bisselliella. The photos in the new record 4249751 might illustrate both species - although the darkness that is apparent in the first three may be an artifact of the photo and they are really the same as the last two that seem to be Tineola bisselliella - but it’s impossible to be certain. (I downloaded the photos and adjusted the colour and couldn’t be certain about any differences between the five.)
If the “owners” of these moths could find the larvae, perhaps in some carpet that is or has been damp (although they eat a wide variety of animal origin matter), then we would learn more. The larvae of Tineola bisselliella are usually found within an untidy mass of webbing, whereas those of Tinea translucens each construct a portable silk case incorporating fragments of the food as disguise.
Edosa ochracea is a plain darker gold than Tineola bisselliella, and differs from both the above species in its head structures. I haven’t read of any association with dwellings, and the biology of the genus is not known.
michaelb wrote:
   12 Feb 2020
Ok Glenn
I haven't seen any larvae in my indoor explorations but I'll keep an eye out for them.
michaelb wrote:
   18 Feb 2020
Thanks Glenn, for going to so much trouble to ID this tiny moth.

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Cryptes baccatus (Wattle Tick Scale) at Conder, ACT - 28 Jul 2020 by michaelb
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Trichosurus vulpecula (Common Brushtail Possum) at Conder, ACT - 29 May 2020 by michaelb
Hepialidae sp. (family) (Unidentified Swift or Ghost Moth) at Conder, ACT - 28 May 2020 by michaelb
Trichosurus vulpecula (Common Brushtail Possum) at Conder, ACT - 27 May 2020 by michaelb
Chalcididae sp. (family) (Unidentified chalcid wasp) at Conder, ACT - 26 May 2020 by michaelb
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Chalcididae sp. (family) (Unidentified chalcid wasp) at Conder, ACT - 8 May 2020 by michaelb
Ectropis excursaria (Common Bark Moth) at Conder, ACT - 8 May 2020 by michaelb
Hellula hydralis (Cabbage Centre Moth) at Conder, ACT - 27 Apr 2020 by michaelb
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Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris (Eastern Spinebill) at Conder, ACT - 19 Apr 2020 by michaelb
Callitris endlicheri (Black cypress pine) at Conder, ACT - 19 Apr 2020 by michaelb
Chaetophthalmus sp. (genus) (A bristle fly) at Conder, ACT - 19 Apr 2020 by michaelb
Ichneumonidae sp. (family) (Unidentified ichneumon wasp) at Conder, ACT - 14 Apr 2020 by michaelb
zz agaric (stem; gills white/cream) at Conder, ACT - 14 Apr 2020 by michaelb
Celaenia calotoides (Bird-dropping spider) at Conder, ACT - 3 Apr 2020 by michaelb
Geastrum sp. (An earthstar) at Conder, ACT - 3 Apr 2020 by michaelb
Dichondra repens (Kidney Weed) at Conder, ACT - 27 Mar 2020 by michaelb
Agaricus sp. at Conder, ACT - 17 Mar 2020 by michaelb
Microlaena stipoides (Weeping Grass) at Conder, ACT - 17 Mar 2020 by michaelb
Phalaenoides glycinae (Grapevine Moth) at Conder, ACT - 8 Mar 2020 by michaelb
Dasygnathus trituberculatus (Rhinoceros beetle) at Conder, ACT - 2 Mar 2020 by michaelb
Melanodes anthracitaria (Black Geometrid) at Conder, ACT - 26 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Pseudozarba orthopetes (Neat-lined Zarb) at Conder, ACT - 26 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Gastrina cristaria (Wave-lined Geometrid) at Conder, ACT - 26 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Tiliqua scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Conder, ACT - 24 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Conocephalus upoluensis (Meadow Katydid) at Conder, ACT - 23 Feb 2020 by michaelb
zz puffball at Conder, ACT - 23 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Bovista (A puffball) at Conder, ACT - 18 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Bovista (A puffball) at Conder, ACT - 18 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Physarales (order) at Conder, ACT - 18 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Phyllotocus navicularis (Nectar scarab) at Conder, ACT - 11 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Alternanthera pungens (Khaki Weed) at Conder, ACT - 2 Feb 2020 by michaelb
Tracholena sulfurosa (A tortrix moth) at Conder, ACT - 31 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Psyllidae sp. (family) (Unidentified psyllid or lerp insect) at Conder, ACT - 29 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Chondropyga dorsalis (Cowboy Beetle) at Conder, ACT - 27 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Macrotona australis (Common Macrotona Grasshopper) at Conder, ACT - 27 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Turneromyia sp. (genus) (Zebra spider wasp) at Conder, ACT - 27 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Dysbatus sp. (genus) (A Line-moth) at Conder, ACT - 26 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Coracina novaehollandiae (Black-faced Cuckooshrike) at Conder, ACT - 20 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Evaniidae sp. (family) (Hatchet wasp) at Conder, ACT - 11 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Polistes (Polistes) chinensis (Asian paper wasp) at Conder, ACT - 10 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Zizina otis (Common Grass-blue) at Conder, ACT - 8 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Syllitus rectus (Syllitus longhorn beetle) at Conder, ACT - 8 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Mordella dumbrelli (Pintail or tumbling flower beetle) at Conder, ACT - 8 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Agrotis munda (Brown Cutworm) at Conder, ACT - 7 Jan 2020 by michaelb
Austroterpna paratorna (Rounded Gray) at Conder, ACT - 24 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Lipotriches (Austronomia) phanerura (Halictid bee) at Conder, ACT - 22 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Mormoscopa phricozona (A Herminiid Moth) at Conder, ACT - 21 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Tortricopsis pyroptis at Conder, ACT - 21 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Paratemnopteryx couloniana (A native cockroach) at Conder, ACT - 19 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Ichneumonidae sp. (family) (Unidentified ichneumon wasp) at Conder, ACT - 18 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Megachile lucidiventris (Leafcutter bee, Megachilid bee) at Conder, ACT - 18 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Macropus giganteus (Eastern Grey Kangaroo) at Conder, ACT - 15 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Galanga labeculata (Double-spotted cicada) at Conder, ACT - 11 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Sorghum leiocladum (Wild Sorghum) at Conder, ACT - 6 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Phrissogonus laticostata (Apple looper moth) at Conder, ACT - 6 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Dithalama cosmospila (Grey Spotted Wave) at Conder, ACT - 6 Dec 2019 by michaelb
Tricoryne elatior (Yellow Rush Lily) at Conder, ACT - 29 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Pelecorhynchus fulvus (Orange cap-nosed fly) at Conder, ACT - 26 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Agrotis porphyricollis (Variable Cutworm) at Conder, ACT - 25 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Anoplognathus hirsutus (Hirsute Christmas beetle) at Conder, ACT - 25 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Austrostipa densiflora (Foxtail Speargrass) at Conder, ACT - 22 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Cryphaea xylina (Woodland Geometrid) at Conder, ACT - 20 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Orthorhinus cylindrirostris (Elephant weevil) at Conder, ACT - 20 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Hypobapta sp. (genus) (A Geometer moth) at Conder, ACT - 20 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Melanodes anthracitaria (Black Geometrid) at Conder, ACT - 19 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Bandidus canifrons (An Antlion Lacewing) at Conder, ACT - 19 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Drymaplaneta communis (Eastern Wood Runner) at Conder, ACT - 15 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Leptocneria reducta (White cedar moth) at Conder, ACT - 12 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Philobota iphigenes (A concealer moth) at Conder, ACT - 1 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Achyra massalis (Ombava) at Conder, ACT - 1 Nov 2019 by michaelb
Cleora displicata (A Geometrid moth) at Conder, ACT - 31 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Rainbowia sp. (genus) (A mite) at Conder, ACT - 27 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Philobota lysizona (A concealer moth) at Conder, ACT - 24 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Nabis sp. (genus) (Damsel bug) at Conder, ACT - 24 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Anthela varia (Varied anthelid) at Conder, ACT - 24 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Indigofera australis subsp. australis (Australian Indigo) at Conder, ACT - 23 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Sophta concavata (Varied Hookwing) at Conder, ACT - 22 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Simosyrphus grandicornis (Common hover fly) at Conder, ACT - 22 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Termessa shepherdi (Shepherd's Footman) at Conder, ACT - 3 Oct 2019 by michaelb
Strepera graculina (Pied Currawong) at Conder, ACT - 28 Sep 2019 by michaelb
Acacia rubida (Red-leaved Wattle) at Conder, ACT - 2 Sep 2019 by michaelb
Acacia boormanii (Snowy River Wattle) at Conder, ACT - 28 Aug 2019 by michaelb
Acacia dealbata (Silver Wattle) at Conder, ACT - 18 Aug 2019 by michaelb
Hepialidae sp. (family) (Unidentified Swift or Ghost Moth) at Conder, ACT - 4 Aug 2019 by michaelb
Macropus giganteus (Eastern Grey Kangaroo) at Conder, ACT - 13 Jul 2019 by michaelb
Gastropoda sp. (class) (Unidentified snail or slug) at Conder, ACT - 9 Jul 2019 by michaelb
Chrysothrix sp. (A lichen ) at Conder, ACT - 18 Jun 2019 by michaelb

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Location information

  • Coordinates 149.101355-35.464658
  • Altitude 620.0m
  • Places Conder, ACT

Species information

  • Not Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 4 - 15 Abundance
  • 25 Jan 2020 Recorded on
  • michaelb Recorded by

Additional information

  • Less than 5mm Animal size
1224497 sightings of 6227 species in 1175 locations from 3668 members
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