Thank you to everyone who replied with the ID of the caterpillar, I did not 
realise that they moult their skin, fascinating!

Hopefully it is a one off and not a sign of an infestation, I might try a 
couple of moth pheromone traps and see if any adult moths show up.

Thanks again,


From: pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net <pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net> on behalf 
of Insect Identification Services Ltd <insecti...@gmail.com>
Sent: 10 February 2017 11:48
To: pestlist@museumpests.net
Subject: Re: [pestlist] Help identifying larvae

Hi Frances,

Yes this is most likely to be the larva of one of the 'house moths', possibly a 
tineid (Tineidae), but possibly an oecophorid (Oecophoridae).

An interesting observation being that there is one caterpillar plus two head 
capsules - this frequently occurs with larvae stuck on monitoring traps. They 
moult their skin which liberates them from the glue but then become stuck again 
very quickly, hence another moult and so forth. They sometimes feed on the shed 
skin, leaving the cast head capsule - you will note that the head capsules get 
incrementally smaller with each moult as reserves are used up.

I have seen up to 5 moults on traps and even larvae that have managed to 
escaped the trap in doing so. I have observed this behaviour in both tineid 
moths and Anthrenus larvae (Dermestidae).

Best regards,

Stuart Hine

On 9 February 2017 at 12:25, Louis Sorkin 
<sor...@amnh.org<mailto:sor...@amnh.org>> wrote:

These look like caterpillars.  Could be a tineid moth species. You'll have to 
do some sleuthing to find out what could be infested.

Louis N. Sorkin, B.C.E. | Entomologist, Arachnologist, Myriapodologist

Entomophagy Research

Division of Invertebrate Zoology | American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street | New York, New York 10024-5192


212-769-5613<tel:(212)%20769-5613> voice | 212-769-5277<tel:(212)%20769-5277> 

The New York Entomological Society, Inc.



From: pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net<mailto:pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net> 
<pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net<mailto:pestlist-ow...@museumpests.net>> on 
behalf of Frances Cooper <f.coo...@leeds.ac.uk<mailto:f.coo...@leeds.ac.uk>>
Sent: Thursday, February 9, 2017 5:21:45 AM
To: 'pestlist@museumpests.net<mailto:pestlist@museumpests.net>'
Subject: [pestlist] Help identifying larvae


I would really appreciate some help identifying the larvae in the attached 
photo, they are about 5mm long and were found on a pest trap next to a coat 
stand so it is possible they have been brought in on a coat. Could they be 
clothes moth larvae or are they too small?


Many thanks,

Frances Cooper

Frances Cooper
Trainee Conservation Technician
Special Collections
Leeds University Library

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Brotherton Library
University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT

Stuart Hine
Entomological Consultant


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