Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila pseudopretella)
Brown house moth of the concealer moth family is the only member of its genus. It is also said to be a close cousin of the Borkhausenia genus moths belonging to the same family. Initially found in Asia, the moth has a wide distribution, spreading throughout Europe, most popular in Britain.
- Family: Oecophoridae
- Genus: Hofmannophila
- Scientific Name: Hofmannophila pseudopretella
Description and Identification
They have a translucent body with a dull white coloration. Their head is brown, while the legs appear yellowish-brown. The brown house moth’s larva grows to about 1.8 – 2 cm upon maturation. Because of their translucent appearance, the larva changes color according to the food that it has ingested. They inhabit human homes, as evident from their name, and eat many things like clothes, cereals, furniture fabric, dried fruits, etc.
They have a yellowish-brown body, while their abdominal segments remain covered with hooked setae.
Sexual Dimorphism: Prominent
Males appear smaller than females.
Color and Appearance:
Forewings: When opened, it is brownish-red, marked with patches of blackish brown. The wings also have discal spots and blackish brown, small-sized cellular spots. When closed, the color and pattern remain unchanged though the cellular and discal spots are not prominently visible.
Hindwings: When opened, it is brownish-grey and of the same coloration when closed.
They even have a grayish-brown abdomen, head, and thorax and a thread-like antenna.
Average Wingspan: 1.5 – 2.6 mm
Flight Pattern: Consistent
Season: May – September
They are elliptical with a bright white or yellow coloration and longitudinal grooves running parallel joined to transverse lines.
|Distribution||Native: Asia Introduced in: Europe (mainly Britain, alongside other continents) in the 1840s|
|Habitat||Private houses, and commercial buildings, mostly inhabiting roof spaces, lofts, kitchen cabinets, attics|
|Lifespan of Adults||4 – 5 months|
|Host Plants||No host plants|
|Diet||Larva: Stored cereals, dried fruits, biscuits, flour, potato, seeds, clothes, fur, furniture fabric, wine bottle cork, leather, bookbinding |
Adult: Not recorded
Did You Know
- Though the larva ingests carpet fibers, it is done rarely, so moth-proofing fibers would not work well to control their numbers.
- In Britain this moth is considered a serious pest.