© Stuart M Bennett 2000
Trichophaga tapetzella
(Tapestry Moth)

This moth is quite rare in the United Kingdom. It is larger than the webbing or casemaking clothes moths, having a wingspread of about 19 mm. Its head and the basal third of the forewings are black, the outer two-thirds of the forewings are creamy white, and the hindwings are uniformly pale grey. The larvae prefer coarser and heavier fabrics than the common clothes moth and the case-bearing moth, and they construct burrows or silk-lined galleries in all directions throughout the infested materials, such as carpets, tapestries, feltings, horse hair, furs, and skins. This tube, combined with the feeding, causes much damage to infested material.

The adults are found flying from April to June and mate almost immediately after emergence. The female deposits from 60 to 100 eggs. The larval stage persists through the summer months. A rough cocoon is constructed by the larva for pupation (see picture below), When the tapestry moth emerge the larval cases and the remains of the empty pupae protrude from the material. One or two generations may be produced per year.

Like the brown house moth, the tapestry moth thrives in humid conditions, and nowadays it is found especially in outhouse and stables. It is a serious pest of tapestries, if the wall on which they are hung is in any way damp.

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