Angoumois grain moth

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Angoumois grain moth
Sitotroga cerealella 1435095.jpg
Adult on a maize ear
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Gelechiidae
Genus: Sitotroga
Species: S. cerealella
Binomial name
Sitotroga cerealella
(Olivier, 1789)

Numerous, see text

A specimen collected by CSIRO

The Angoumois grain moth (Sitotroga cerealella) is a species of gelechioid moth. It is the type species of its genus Sitotroga, placed in the subfamily Pexicopiinae of the twirler moth family (Gelechiidae). Formerly, it was included in the "Chelariinae", which more recent authors do not separate from the Pexicopiinae and usually even do not consider a distinct tribe ("Chelariini") within them.[1]

It has a nearly global distribution today, including essentially all of Europe[2] as well as such far-flung places as Australia,[3] Benin, Brazil, China,[3] Indonesia, Japan, Samoa[3] and the United States. This is due to its synanthropic habits, which allow it to be easily transported in international grain shipments. Its common name refers to Angoumois, the pre-revolutionary province of France from which it was first scientifically described by G.-A. Olivier in 1789. The province was transformed into the present-day Charente département the following year, and as it has since turned out[3] the species is not originally native to western France.

The adults' wingspan is 13–20 mm. Its caterpillars feed on grains of Asian rice (Oryza sativa), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), wheats (Triticum) and maize (Zea mays). They bore into the seeds of the host plant and feed inside the seed covering. Consequently, this moth is considered a pest of stored cereals. More unusually, the caterpillars have been recorded[4] to eat other dry plant matter, such as plant specimens stored in herbaria.[3]


Junior synonyms of the Angoumois grain moth are:

  • Alucita cerealella Olivier, 1789
  • Aristotelia ochrescens Meyrick in Caradja & Meyrick, 1938
  • Epithectis palearis Meyrick, 1913
  • Gelechia arctella Walker, 1864
  • Gelechia melanarthra Lower, 1900
  • Syngenomictis aenictopa Meyrick, 1927
  • Tinea hordei Kirby & Spence, 1815
  • Gelechia (Sitotroga?) coarctatella Zeller, 1877


  1. ^ Pitkin & Jenkins (2004), ABRS (2008), FE (2009)
  2. ^ FE (2009)
  3. ^ a b c d e ABRS (2008)
  4. ^ Grabe (1942)


External links[edit]