Case-bearing Clothes Moth Click to enlarge image
Case-bearing Clothes Moth, Tinea pellionella Image: Andrew Donnelly
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    pellionella
    Genus
    Tinea
    Subfamily
    Tineinae
    Family
    Tineidae
    Super Family
    Tineoidea
    Order
    Lepidoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Number of Species
    2
  • Size Range
    1 cm

Introduction

Sydney has two common species of clothes moths, which were both accidentally introduced to Australia.

Identification

The Case-bearing Clothes Moth gets its name from the open-ended, protective silk case that the larvae live inside and carry around when feeding. The other Sydney species is the Common Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella).

Habitat

Clothes moths live in urban areas.

Distribution

Clothes moths are found worldwide, including Australia, Asia, North America and Europe.

Feeding and diet

Before humans began manufacturing clothes and carpet, clothes moth larvae fed on feathers, fur, dead animals and wool.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Like most moths, adult clothes moths generally avoid light and prefer the darkness of a wardrobe or drawer.