Entomology (Study of Bugs)/clothes moths


how can a female so small lay 150 eggs?  the pictures i have seen seem to show eggs about 1/2 mm diameter.  Can these eggs be seen with the naked eye?


Dear Wa - The size of an insect in itself is not the limiting factor for the number of eggs it can lay. More important is the ratio of the body size/capacity to the egg size. In some species, the female is little more than a sac full of eggs. That aside, the more usual number of eggs lain by a female clothes moth during her lifetime is 40 to 50 (see http://tinyurl.com/753pfmj), and their naked eye visibility depends on (1) your visual acuity, and (2) the color of the fabric that the eggs are laid on - if it contrasts highly, they should be visible (see http://tinyurl.com/plpem5u), but if the contrast is low, not so much (see http://tinyurl.com/ppar2f6).
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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