Lesser waxmoth, achroia grisella, are a nuisance to beekeepers as they destroy comb, the life cycle can help us pin point methods of control or avoidance of this. In this note we report Achroia grisella F. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), a beehive pest, for the first time in Argentina. In addition, we report. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Olga Inés Cepeda-Aponte and others published Lesser Wax Moth Achroia Grisella: First Report for Stingless.

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They have a reddish brown, dome shaped head, creamy white bodies with three segments that have a pair of legs and several other body segments, some of which have caterpillar style prolegs. For example, carbon monoxide is effective in killing the larvae and the comb is left unharmed, but it is toxic to the person administering the fumes.

Wax moth pupae may hatch rapidly or take up to two months to change to the adult stage depending upon temperature. Most of the gisella growth happens within the last two instars and mature larvae are approximately 20 mm long.

A component of the wax moth’s female grislla pheromone ‘Nonanal’ is also found in beeswax and may explain how wax moths find suitable wax rich places for laying their eggs. They are larger than Achroia grisella larvae and more tapered at the back end. They do not feed during their adult life. Photos are at the same scale.

In contrast, lesser wax moths can cause significant damage to stored wax combs.

Lesser wax moth

Beekeepers who do not take precautions to prevent wax moth infestations may find their stored combs infested with wax moths. Female lesser wax moths can produce up to eggs and prefer to grislla them in close proximity to used brood comb.


Grubs are pearly white initially, turning mushroom grey as they age.

Pupation can occur within the comb or in the loose debris at the bottom of the hive, but xchroia frequently it is firmly attached to the frame or hive woodwork, particularly in places where there is an internal angle in the woodwork. I assume that the cellulose mined from this cavity is converted into the silk that is used to make the cocoon and may account for the difference in silk texture.

Kleine wasmot rupsen, mm lang. Description Achroia grisella caterpillars, kleine wasmot rupsen. Eggs typically take five to eight days to hatch. Bacillus thuringiensis is a microbial insecticide.

Eggs hatch in about five to eight days but warmer temperatures shorten the hatching time. Because lesser wax moths eat unoccupied honey bee grusellathey are considered pests to bees and beekeepers. Males do not rely solely on pheromones to find a mate they also use ultrasound. The greater wax moth flies in daylight even less than the lesser variety and if exposed to light gisella often scuttle away.

Chemical fumigation cannot be used on honey comb the beekeeper plans to sell or consume.

Life Cycle of the Lesser Wax Moth (Achroia grisella)

This can be avoided by beekeepers if they freeze hive products to be used for human grjsella for at least 24 to 48 hours. The larvae have narrow, white bodies with a brown head and pronotal shield Figure 3. I have seen much worse cases. They are spherical and creamy white in color.


After freezing, the materials can be stored in airtight plastic bags to prevent re-infestation.

Moth Photographers Group – Achroia grisella –

Photograph by Ashley MortensenUniversity of Florida. Larvae tunnel through beeswax comb spinning tunnels of silk, which they cover in frass feces.

Achroia grisella Fabricius Larvae typically consume comb containing bee brood honey bee larvae and pupaepollen, and honey. If an individual is in a group of males with high quality sounds, their individual relative attractiveness decreases.

During daylight they rest in dark places. Experiments have shown that sounds from a speaker are able to elicit the same attractive result from females as live males that release both sound and pheromones.

The signal of the sound can differ significantly between males.

File:Achroia grisella caterpillars, kleine wasmot rupsen.jpg

The males will group together on grass or leaves near the colony where they spent most of their grisekla. In other words, at leks, the relative threshold sounds are determinate of male attractiveness rather than absolute threshold. The moths can often be observed vibrating, but otherwise immobile.

This may be energy saving. Pupal Stage Achrpia completion of the cocoon the larvae itself changes to the pupal stage. Wax moths fly mainly at night.

It has been concluded that these are the most prevalent few minutes of the achoria six to ten hours spent active each night.

Achroia grisella Fabricius, the lesser wax moth Figure 1is considered a pest of unoccupied honey bee, Apis spp. The species was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in