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webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) adult

closeup view of a webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) adult on a gray fabric or carpet surface, of which individual fibers are visible in focus below the moth, but the foreground and background are blurry. the moth is near uniformly light brown in color, its wing scales somewhat pearlescent. its eyes are dark gray, and its head is fuzzy and slightly orange-brown.

Though they cause headaches for dining on your wardrobe, webbing clothes moths (Tineola bisselliella) are unique creatures with fascinating specialized biology. They can eat hair and metabolize their own water. They can chew through plastic and digest mercury. And that’s not all. An entomologist studying these moths’ makes a case for appreciating their evolutionary feats. (Photo by Andrey Ponomarev via iNaturalist, CC BY-NC 4.0)

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