Wax Moth Galleria mellonella

Pyralidae » Galleriinae

Wax Moth Galleria mellonella

62.006 BF1425 Wax Moth Galleria mellonella (Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 29-40 mm. Forewing length 14-19mm. The females are usually larger and darker than the males.

Wax Moth Galleria mellonella

The adult flies between June and October, most likely in two overlapping broods. It is attracted to light and sugar, and is found in various habitats, including gardens. Common and more local in northern England, rare in Scotland. The larva lives in beehives, feeding on the honeycomb, hence the name ‘Wax Moth’.

© Pete Hillman July 2017.


Bee Moth Aphomia sociella

Pyralidae » Galleriinae

Bee Moth Aphomia sociella

The females (see image above) are usually larger than the males, and the species is sexually dimorphic with the male being paler than the browner female. Although there may be some character variations in this moth, the males have creamy whitish coloured forewings, head and thorax. The forewing has small elongated dark spots along the outer margin. The female forewing is browner with conspicuous black discal spots, two on each wing, one larger than the other. Both sexes can express mixed pinkish, purplish, brownish and greenish hues in forewing colouration and patternation. which helps aid it in camouflage. They also have a tendency to roll rather than fold their wings when at rest. Forewing length 12-18mm.

The adult flies June to August. Rests during the day in vegetation, and attracted by light at night. Found in various habitats, including wooded areas, scrub and gardens. A widespread and common species throughout Britain.

The larva live in bumblebee and wasp nests feeding on the comb and the brood itself.

© Pete Hillman May 2014.