Angoumois grain moth

(Sitotroga cerealella)


The Angoumois grain moth (fam. Gelechiidae, twirler moths) has a wing span of up to 18 mm. Its wings are elongated and tapered, and have long fringes on the rear edge. Its front wings are a dull loam-yellow colour with black dots, while its head is covered with smooth scales. The larvae, which are up to 7 mm long, start as a yellowish-red colour, then turn white. They live in the grain kernel and are therefore hard to spot. The caterpillars fully erode the grains and pupate inside. In southern Europe, they even infest the grains on the field which have not yet matured.



The main damage caused is the erosion of the grains. They affect all types of grains – primarily wheat and corn, but also rice, millet, legumes, chestnuts and cocoa beans. Infestations have a major impact on the smell and taste of the affected goods.