Seq # 490410010

Ephestia elutella (Hübner, 1796) Species

Last modified: April 28, 2024, 9:05 a.m.

Status is insufficiently known since this genus is best checked for genitalia to avoid confusion with other members, especially Ephestia woodiella, which is very common.
Distribution after 2004 is based only on specimens examined for genitalia.
Believed to be a very rare and local species in Belgium, often found indoors.


Family: Pyralidae > Subfamily: Phycitinae > Tribus: Phycitini > Genus: Ephestia > Species: Ephestia elutella
Vernacular names
Cacaomot (NL), Cacao Moth (EN), Kakaomotte (DE)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1844. Énumération des insectes Lépidoptères de la Belgique. — Mémoires de la Société royale des Sciences de Liége 2: 1–35. On page 23 (as Phycis elutella H.). view page




Museum specimens

Specimens in nature

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It hibernates as a larva in a cocoon and pupates there during spring.
The adults are active at night and come to light.

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Flight periods

The adults fly from late April till October.

Observed on

Stored products (grain, rice, nuts, etc.)

The larva is polyphagous on all kinds of stored materials, especially cacao and tobacco, but also other stored cereals. It can sometimes be a pest of stored products, especially in warehouses.

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