colhig17's picture

Clothes Moth?

Observed: 12th July 2009 By: colhig17colhig17’s reputation in Invertebratescolhig17’s reputation in Invertebratescolhig17’s reputation in Invertebrates
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Description:

Seen on wall in our hall. I know we used to have clothes moths, could they be back?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Dingy Footman (Eilema griseola) interacts

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

Dingy Footman

I think charlieb has this one correctly identified as Dingy Footman. It is much larger than any of the few moth species that are capable of eating clothes - Dingy Footman has a wingspan of 32-40mm, whereas the largest moth that can damage fabrics is the Brown House Moth (Hoffmanophila pseudospretella), with a wingspan of 16-25mm, and the true clothes-moths in genus Tinea are tiny at around 9-16mm wingspan. None of the larger moths (macro-moths) are after your clothes!

In fact, out of the approx. 2,500 species of moth in Britain, only ten or so are capable of eating cloth, and only a handful of those are widespread nowadays. In the wild, they feed on various materials of animal origin, such as feathers and debris in bird nests, or hair in mammal nests.

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Entomologist and biological recorder