Galleria mellonella (Linnaeus, 1758)

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    Greater wax moth, or honeycomb moth, Galleria mellonella (Linnaeus, 1758) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is recognized for many uses ranging from serving as a model organism for pathogenesis research (Mylonakis et al., 2005), to the purpose of the book of Van Huis and Tomberlin (2017), mass production for animal feed. In fact, G. mellonella can be used as feed for insectivorous species found in zoos (Finke, 2002). Greater wax moth can be grown on a variety of diets (Jindra and Sehnal, 1989), which indicates a tremendous potential for mass-production as reliance on a single feed stream is not a necessity.


    • Finke, M.D., 2002. Complete nutrient composition of commercially raised invertebrates used as food for insectivores. Zoo Biology 21: 269-285.
    • Jindra, M. and Sehnal, F., 1989. Larval growth, food consumption, and utilization of dietary protein and energy in Galleria mellonella. Journal of Insect Physiology 35: 719-724.
    • Mylonakis, E., Moreno, R., El Khoury, J.B., Idnurm, A., Heitman, J., Calderwood, S.B., Ausubel, F.M. and Diener, A., 2005. Galleria mellonella as a model system to study Cryptococcus neoformans pathogenesis. Infection and Immunity 73: 3842-3850.
    • Van Huis, A. and Tomberlin, J.K. (eds.), 2017. Insects as food and feed: from production to consumption. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, the Netherlands


    Galleria mellonella
    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Arthropoda
    Class Insecta
    Order Lepidoptera
    Family Pyralidae
    Subfamily Galleriinae
    Genus Galleria
    Species G. mellonella
    Author citation (Linnaeus, 1758)
    Common names  
    greater wax moth, honeycomb moth