Lepidoptera The Tabby Moth – Aglossa Pinguinalis
The first of these families contains the Tabby or Grease Moth, commonly met with both in the larval and perfect states in barns and stables.
Its fore wings are brownish grey, crossed with zigzag darker lines, and having a black spot near the centre of the costal margin. The term ‘Tabby’ has been applied on account of the fancied resemblance of the transverse markings to the fur of a tabby cat, and the other popular name was given under the belief that the caterpillar feeds on fatty matter, but it is extremely doubtful whether this supposition is correct.
The caterpillar probably feeds exclusively on the vegetable accumulations that lie in the undisturbed corners and crevices of outhouses and stables, and lives concealed in silken tubes, strengthened outside by fragments of hay, chaff &c. that have been spun together. It feeds from September to April, except during very severe weather, and when full grown it leaves its tube, and changes to a chrysalis in a light silken cocoon in some secluded corner.
The moth emerges in July.