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Rice Moth (Corcyra cephalonica)

The rice moth is a member of the snout moth family considered an annoying pest. In fact, in its caterpillar form, it mainly infests rice, as evident from its name, alongside other food items like flour, cocoa beans, dried fruits, and spices. English entomologist Henry Tibbats Stainton first described it in 1866.

Rice Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Pyralidae
  • Genus: Corcyra
  • Scientific Name: Corcyra cephalonica

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

The larvae have a creamy white body and a dark brown head.  They form dense webbing by spinning threads, through which they mainly contaminate food. After remaining in the larval stage for 15 – 20 days, they proceed to pupate.

Rice Moth Caterpillar

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Pupa

The strong webbing formed by the larva helps them make a tough and dense cocoon, white in color. The entire pupal phase spans between 7 and 10 days.

Rice Moth Pupa

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Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

Forewing: When opened, the wings are pale yellow or green. When closed, the color remains the same.

Hindwing: It appears grayish-white, both when opened and closed.

Average wingspan: 15-25 mm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: March to November

Corcyra cephalonica

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Egg

The eggs are small, elliptical, and oval laid near the food source, 100 – 200 eggs at a time.

Rice Moth Eggs

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Quick Facts

DistributionNorth America, Asia, Africa, and Europe
HabitatWarm climates
Lifespan of Adults1 week
Host PlantsSeeds, cereals, flour, and dry fruits
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • This moth had many other scientific names in the past like  Corcyra translineella, Anerastia lineata, and Melissoblaptes oeconomellus, invalid at present.
Rice Moth Image

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Rice Moth Picture

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