e course



13. Almond Moth / Fig moth: Ephestia cautella (Pyralidae:Lepidoptera)
            The pest is also known as the dried currant moth.
Distribution and status: Worldwide
Host range :  It is a serious pest of dried fruits such as currants, raisons, dried apples, dates, berries, figs, almonds, walnuts, tamarind seeds, etc. It has also been recorded on lac, malted milk, dried mango, pulp, garlic bulbs, various cereal grains and grain products.
Bionomics : The adult moth has greyish wings with transverse stripes on the outer region and the wing expanse is about 12 mm.  The female lays whitish eggs indiscriminately in cracks and crevices of the receptacles or on the food stuff. While feeding, the larvae spin tubes in the food material and are full-grown in 40-50 days. The full-grown larva is white with pinkish tinge and measures 1.5 cm. The larvae pupate inside the cocoons and pupal stage lasts about 12 days. The life cycle is completed in about two months and there are 5-6 generations in a year.
Damage symptoms : The caterpillars make tunnels in the food materials. The number of silken tube is sometimes extremely high and these clog the mill machinery where the infested grains have been sent for milling.