Comparative Biology of two Phycitid Moths, Plodia Interpunctella (Hubn.) and Ephestia Cautella (WLK.) on some Selected Food Media

  • J. Allotey
  • L. Goswami
Research Article


The life cycles of two phycitid moths, Plodia interpunctella (Hubn.) and Ephestia cautella (Wik.) were studied under ambient laboratory conditions on groundnut, maize, sorghum, wheat and standard medium (maize/wheat/glycerol, 8:8:1, w/w). Egg hatchabilities were found to be 98.6 and 91.6% for P. interpunctella and E. cautella respectively. Five larval instars were recorded for each species based on head-capsule width measurements. The growth ratios of the larval head-capsule width ranged from 1.08–1.72 in P. interpunctella: and 1.33–1.57 in E. cautella. These ranges fall within the acceptable range in Dyar’s rule. Mean fecundities ranged from 96.83 ± 0.31 on wheat to 190.87 ± 0.47 on standard medium for P. interpunctella; and 96.83 ± 0.31 on groundnut to 192 ± 1.33 on standard medium for E. cautella. Mean developmental periods of the two moths on the selected food media ranged from 25.65 days on standard medium to 46.11 days in broken wheat for P. interpunctella; and 26.95 days in broken sorghum to 40.14 days in ground maize for E. cautella.

Key Words

Plodia interpunctella Ephestia cautella developmental period head-capsule width phycitid moths standard medium 


Les évolutions de deux papillons phycitids, Plodia interpunctella (Hubn.) et Ephestia cautella (Wlk.) etaient etudiées sous conditions ambiance de laboratoire, sur arachide, maïs, sorgho, blé et moyen standard (maïs/blé/glycerol, 8:8:1, w/w). Les éclosions des oeufs etaient de 98,6 et 91,6 % pour P. interpunctella et E. cautella respectivement. Ona noté cinq phases morphologiques larvaires pour chaque espèce basés sur les mesures des largeurs des tétes. L’accroissement raison des largeurs des tðes rangé de 1,08 à 1,72 en P. interpunctella, et de 1,33 à 1,57 en E. cautella. Ces ranges se conformaient à la loi de Dyar. Les moyennes de fecondité rangées de 96,83 ± 0,31 sur le blé à 190,87 ± 0,47 sur la diète standarde pour P. interpunctella et de 96,87± 0,47 sur arachide à 192 ± 133 sur la diète standarde pour E. cautella. Les periodes moyennes developpement des deux papillons sur les marchandises selectionnées rangées de 25,65 sur la diète standarde à 46,11 jours en blé cassé pour P. interpunctella; et de 26,95 jours en sorgho cassé à 40,14 jours en maïs broyé pour E. cautella.

Mots Cléfs

Plodia interpunctella Ephestia cautella période de développement largeurs des têtes, êdiète standarde 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allotey, J. (1982) Competition between Corcyra cephalonica (S taint.) and Ephestia cautella (Wlk.) and study of radiosensitivity of the immature stages of Corcyra cephalonica. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Ghana, Legon.Google Scholar
  2. Allotey, J. (1984) Activity patterns of Corcyra cephalonica (Staint.) and Ephestia cautella (Wlk.) and competition for pupation sites. Uttar Pradesh J. Zool. 4: 150–155.Google Scholar
  3. Allotey, J. (1985) Study of radiosensitivity of the immature stages of Corcyra cephalonica (Stainton) (Lepidoptera: Galleriidae). Insect Sci. Applic. 6: 621–625.Google Scholar
  4. Allotey, J. (1986) Competition between the two moths Corcyra cephalonica (Staint.) and Ephestia cautella (Wlk.) on a laboratory diet. J. Stored Prod. Res. 22: 103–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Allotey, J. and Kumar, R. (1985) Competition between Corcyra cephalonica (Stainton) and Ephestia cautella (Walker) in cocoa beans. Insect Sci. Applic. 6: 627–632.Google Scholar
  6. Amoako-Atta, B. and Partida, G. J. (1976) Sensitivity of almond moth pupae to gamma radiation (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 49: 133–140.Google Scholar
  7. Anonymous (1978) Post-harvest Food Losses in Developing Countries. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  8. Anonymous (1985) Insect Pests of Stored Grain. Agfact p1. A.E. 10 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Arbogast, R. T. (1981) Mortality and reproduction of Ephestia cautella and Plodia interpunctella exposed as pupae to high temperatures. Environ. Entomol. 10, 708–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burges, H. D., Hall D.W., Wright, F. N. and Pearson, J. D. (1963) The increasing importance of certain moth pests. Trop. Stored Prod. Inf. 5: 174–176.Google Scholar
  11. Burges, H. D. and Haskins K. P. F. (1965) Life cycle of the tropical warehouse moth Cadra cautella (Wlk.) at controlled temperatures and humidities. Bull. entomol. Res. 55: 775–789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cox, P. D. (1975) The suitability of dried fruits, almonds and carobs for the development of Ephestia figulilella Gregson, Ephestia calidella (Guenee) and Ephestia cautella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae). J. Stored Prod. Res. 11: 229–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Demianyk, C. J. and Sinha, R. N. (1981) Effect of Pyralid moth infestation on fat acidity, seed germination and microflora of stored wheat. J. econ. Entomol. 74: 526–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Duncan, D. B. (1955) Multiple range and multiple F-tests. Biometrics 11: 1–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dyar, H. S. (1890) The number of moults of Lepidopterous larvae. Psyche 5: 420–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. FAO (1983) Food storage manual; revised edition prepared for World Food Programme by the Tropical Development and Research Institute.Google Scholar
  17. Howe R. W. (1952) Entomological problems of food storage in Northern Nigeria. Bull. entomol. Res. 43: 111–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Imura, O. and Sinha, R. N. (1986) Bioenergetics of the Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 79: 96–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Joubert, P. C. (1967) Reproduction in the Pyralidae (Lepidoptera) I. Post-embryonic development and structure of male reproductive systems of Cadra cautella and Plodia interpunctella. S. Afr. J. Agric. Sci. 10: 707–722.Google Scholar
  20. LeCato, G. L. (1976) Yield, development and weight of Cadra cautella (Walker) and Plodia interpunctella (Hubner) on twenty-one diets derived from natural products. J. Stored Prod. Res. 12: 43–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mbata, G. N. and Osuji F. N. C. (1983) Some aspects of the biology of Plodia interpunctella (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), a pest of stored groundnuts in Nigeria. J. Stored Prod. Res. 19: 141–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morere, J. L. and Berre, J. R. (1967) Etude au laboratoire du developpment de la pyrale Plodia interpunctella (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 72: 157–166.Google Scholar
  23. Mubvuta, D. (1984) Indian meal moth. Zimbabwe Agric. J. 81, 188.Google Scholar
  24. Norris, M. J. (1934) Contributions towards the study of insect fertility. III. Adult nutrition, fecundity and longevity in the genus Ephestia (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae). Proc. Zool. Soc. London. pp. 333–360.Google Scholar
  25. Patton, R. L. (1963) Introductory Insect Physiology. W.B. Saunders Company, London.Google Scholar
  26. Prevett, P. F. (1965) Infestation by three moth species. Pest Infest. Res., pp. 75.Google Scholar
  27. Savov, D. (1973) The dried-fruit moth, Plodia interpunctella. Rastitelna Zashchita 21: 30–35.Google Scholar
  28. Silhacek, D. L. and Miller, G. L. (1972) Growth and development of the Indian meal-moth, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae), under laboratory mass rearing conditions. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 65: 1084–1087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sinha, R. N., Madrid, F. J. and White M. D. G. (1986) Bioenergetics of Ephestia cautella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae) feeding on stored wheat. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 79: 622–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Steele, R. W. (1970) Copulation and oviposition behaviour of Ephestia cautella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae). J. Stored Prod. Res. 6: 229–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Strong, R. G., Partida, G. J. and Warner, D. N. (1968) Rearing stored product insects for laboratory studies: Six species of moths. J. econ. Entomol. 61: 1237–1249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tzanakakis, M. E. (1959) An ecological study of the Indian meal moth Plodia interpunctella (Hubner) with emphasis on diapause. Hilgardia 29: 205–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vick, K. W., Koehler, P. G. and Neal, J. J. (1986) Incidence of stored-product phycitinae moths in food distribution ware-houses as determined by sex pheromone baited traps. J. econ. Entomol. 79: 936–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE-ICIPE Science Press 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Allotey
    • 1
  • L. Goswami
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesRivers State University of Science and Technology, NkpoluPort HarcourtNigeria

Personalised recommendations