In zoology, the word "form" or forma is a strictly informal term that is sometimes used to describe organisms. Under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature the term has no standing. In other words, although form names are Latin, and are sometimes wrongly appended to a binomial name, in a zoological context, forms have no taxonomic significance at all. It is a common pest of cereal grains, especially flour. This moth is found throughout the world, especially in countries with temperate climates. It prefers warm temperatures for more rapid development, but it can survive a wide range of temperatures.

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Systematic position: Insecta, Holometabola , Lepidoptera , Pyralidae. Morphology: The color of the larvae depends on their diet; those reared on tobacco may be yellowish, others are brownish, pinkish or off-white. The head and pronotum are reddish-brown, and the body, which is mm in length, bears minute brown dorsal tubercles that carry single setae.

The adults are brown-red, forewings grey with 2 transverse white lines, hindwings grey, body length mm. Distribution: Cosmopolitan, more common in cooler regions. Life history: The females lay several hundred eggs, dependent on the diet. The eggs hatch within a week, and the larvae burrow into the food, wherein they develop, spin silken webs and remain for several months.

At the fifth instar they leave the food to climb onto various surfaces, often reaching ceilings and enter diapause. During diapause they are very tolerant to extreme temperatures and humidities. A generation can be completed in months, the pest raising a single generation in cool regions, up to 3 in warmer climates. Economic importance: The larvae feed on many stored products, including grains, cocoa beans, dried fruit, coffee, and many others, causing much damage.

The damage is mainly due to the extensive webbing and frass. In Turkey E. Management Monitoring: Pest population density and fluctuations can be monitored with adhesive vertical paper stripes that release an appropriate pheromone. Fumigation : Exposures of about one day to sulfuryl fluoride or phosphine killed all larvae and pupae. Chemical control: Dichlorvos , applied daily as an oil mist, provided good control. Another common parasitoid is Habrobracon hebetor.

Blattisocius tarsalis is an important egg predator. References Ashworth, J. The biology of Ephestia elutella. Journal of Stored Products Research Baltaci, D.

Bell, C. Time, concentration and temperature relationships for phosphine activity in tests on diapausing larvae of Ephestia elutella Hubner Lepidoptera: Pyralidae. Pesticide Science Buchelos, C. Coskuncu, K. Seasonal fluctuations in populations of Lepidopteran species as influenced by conventional control in tobacco stores. Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment 7: Green, A.

Control of Ephestia elutella Hb. Lepidoptera, Phycitidae using dichlorvos in oil. Journal of Stored Products Research 4: Efficacy assessment of Trichogramma evanescens and T. Entomophaga


Ephestia elutella

Fruits, pods seeds and grains Damage Symptoms External feeding and trails of silk webbing that contaminates stored products. Pest Management Detection methods The tropical warehouse moth can be detected by visual inspection. Sticky traps baited with a sex pheromone can be used to monitor adults. Cultural practices The severity of a tropical warehouse moth infestation can be reduced by good store hygiene which includes cleaning the store between harvests, immersing grain sacks in boiling water and fumigating the store to eliminate residual infestations, ensuring that all spillages are removed, all cracks and crevices in the store are filled and the selection of only uninfested material for storage. Infestations of this species may also be limited by the storage of good quality grains such as whole cereals with fewer broken grains. Biological pest control The mass release of the parasite Habrobracon hebetor has been used in South Africa to control the tropical warehouse moth in a sultana store as part of an integrated pest management programme.


Ephestia elutella



Tobacco Moth (Warehouse or Cocoa Moth)


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