Monday, May 9, 2011

Meal Moth

Meal Moth - Pyralis farinalis
I found a few of these moths hanging out inside the nature center at Westwood.  They are Meal Moths, the caterpillars can be found feeding on stored food products.  I wonder what they are eating at Westwood?  Hopefully just in the food for the meal worms that are kept in containers to feed our various reptiles and amphibians, and hopefully not on my lunch (kept in containers to feed me); they can carry the rat tapeworm, which can infect humans.

These moths belong to the moth family Pyralidae.  The name supposedly means "an insect fabled to live in fire".  Interesting.  The species name, farinalis, comes from the Latin farina, or ground corn.  That makes more sense.

I identified this moth after some lucky browsing through "Moths & Caterpillars of the North Woods" by Jim Sogaard.  Most of the information in this post is directly taken from his book.