Home / Gelechiid Moths (Gelechiidae) / Angoumois Grain Moth (Sitotroga cerealella)

Angoumois Grain Moth (Sitotroga cerealella)

The Angoumois grain moth is a member of the family of gelechiid moths, who are known primarily for being major grain pests. The larvae of this species spend most of their lives inside their host grains, only emerging as full-grown adults.

Angoumois Grain Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Gelechiidae
  • Genus: Sitotroga
  • Scientific Name: Sitotroga cerealella 

Description and Identification


Larvae have a yellowish-white body and a small yellowish-brown. head These caterpillars are 1–1.5 cm long. They are seldom seen as most of their growth occurring within a single grain.

Angoumois Grain Moth Larva



Pupation then occurs in a silk cocoon inside the grain and, after 10 days or as little as 5 days, they emerge.

Angoumois Grain Moth Pupa


Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present. Males have a thin and pointed black abdomen, while in females it appears bulky, long, and colorless.

Color and Appearance

Forewing: When the wings are opened, they are yellow-white with dark spots. When the wings are closed, the colors and patterns remain the same.

Hindwing: When the wings are opened, they are a light-gray color. When the wings are closed, the overall color of the moth appears brown.

Average wingspan: 1-1.5 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season:  Year-round

Sitotroga cerealella



Eggs are initially are white but become red later on. They are oval and 2mm long.

Angoumois Grain Moth Eggs


Quick Facts

DistributionChina, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Africa
HabitatMostly tropical climates
Lifespan of Adults15 days
Host PlantsKernels and seeds of cereal crops like barley, maize, rice, rye, sorghum, triticale, and wheat.
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • As grain pests, they cause physical damage to the grain, leading to the loss of nutritional value and removing the ability for the seeds to germinate.
  • The common name of this moth is a reference to Angoumois, the pre-revolutionary French province from which French entomologist G.-A. Olivier first scientifically described it in 1789.
Angoumois Grain Moth Damage


Angoumois Grain Moth Image


Angoumois Grain Moth Picture


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Scientific Classification

  • Family: Gelechiidae
  • Genus: Sitotroga
  • Scientific Name: Sitotroga cerealella