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What kind of moth?

This is a discussion on What kind of moth? within the Waxworms, Mealworms, Maggots, etc forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; I bought these as "wax worms" from 2 different pet stores. Features: the larvae never exceeded 2 cm in length, ...

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Old 5th June 2006   #1 (permalink)
ester
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I bought these as "wax worms" from 2 different pet stores.
Features: the larvae never exceeded 2 cm in length, they never spun any silk, could not scale walls, did not eat beeswax, simply threw off their last skin to turn into a pupa. The moths don't really fly but whirr their wings and crawl around. These wax worms were sold on cardboard egg crates.

Click the image to open in full size.

Does anyone know what kind of moths these are?
They happily lived on crushed grains. The larvae look just like the greater wax moth larvae (they ARE a pain with all their silk), only smaller and less annoying.



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Old 5th June 2006   #2 (permalink)
mark
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Hi Ester, that's Galleria mellonella, the larger of the waxworms available commercially.

The lesser waxworm, Achroae grisella spins silk and is a smaller, more delicate looking larvae/moth. Lesser wax worm reproduce much faster than the larger ones in my experience.

Achroae grisella mating - the moths are only 1cm long. Presumably the male is the smaller of the two.
Click the image to open in full size.
A comparison of fully grown larvae of each species.
Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 5th June 2006   #3 (permalink)
ester
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The stupid thing is.. I bought another box of wax worms, these spin silk like there's no tomorrow, are twice as big in larval stage and eat beeswax. Something the others never did.

I guess I'll wait and see if I get eggs and what the larvae do.



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Old 5th June 2006   #4 (permalink)
edward
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You can get containers of wax moths that are contaminated with meal moths like the Indian Meal moth (Plodia interpunctella). For awhile a number of vendors of lesser waxmoths in the USA were selling the Indian Meal Moths as these has overrun the cultures.
Your comment about them feeding on grain makes me suspect that is what this species may be....

Ed



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