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Indian Meal Moth larva
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Indian Meal Moth - larva
See also: adult | damage

Scientific Name: Pyralidae: Plodia interpunctella

Status: pest of stored food products, grains or pantry foods

Damaging Stage: caterpillar

Biology: Adults are small (3/8 inch long) with a wingspan of approximately 5/8 inch. The overall body color is generally brown-gray, but the tip half of the wing is rust- or bronze-colored. Larvae have brown head capsules and are a dirty white or cream color. Sometimes, they may have a slight pink, green, or yellow tint and may reach approximately 2/3 inch long.

Female moths lay their eggs singly or in clusters on suitable larval food. The larvae hatch from the eggs and produce silken tunnels for protection while feeding. Larval development time varies with temperature and type of food material. Before pupating, the larvae leave the food source. There are four to six generations per year.