Tinea trinotella

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Tineidae

Tinea trinotella Moth

There are two distintive features which help with the accurate identification of this otherwise grey-beige moth: the forewing has three dark spots, and the head has a pronounced yellow-to-orange tuft at the front.

Like other species in the genus this moth feeds on dead and discarded matter. The larvae, which live in cases which they transport with them, (rather like some aquatic Caddis fly species) are sometimes found living in birds' nests where they feed on fibres used in the nest construction, and other detritus.

The wingspan of the Tinea trinotella ranges between 12 and 18 mm.

The adult moths fly at night from May and August.


This moth is widespread and common throughout Britain and Ireland as well as through Europe.


There may be two generations of Tinea trinotella flying within a one year period.

Picture: Rob Petley-Jones

Studying butterflies and moths...

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