wax moth


: a dull brownish or ashen pyralid moth (Galleria mellonella) with a larva that feeds on the honeycomb wax of bees

Examples of wax moth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web LeMoine and his Brandon University team focused on one of these insects: caterpillar larvae of the greater wax moth. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 4 Mar. 2020 Wax worms—the caterpillar larval stage of the wax moth—might revolutionize our response to plastic waste, suggests research published in Nature Communications in October. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Dec. 2022 To see whether male jays understood that females felt this way too, the researchers fed female jays either wax moth or mealworm larvae while their male partners watched from the other side of a screen. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 12 Feb. 2013 Now, Bertocchini and her colleagues say that the caterpillar of a common insect, the wax moth, Galleria mellonella, can devour polyethylene and generate an industrially useful molecule. Charles Choi, Discover Magazine, 24 Apr. 2017 One of these, the greater wax moth, is offering scientists hope in the fight against plastic pollution. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 4 Mar. 2020 To understand the extent to which plastic can be colonized by potentially deadly bacteria, the scientists injected wax moth larvae with the biofilm. Michael Allen, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Aug. 2022 Other scientific efforts to find biological ways to break down major plastic are underway, including using wax moth larvae to break down polyethylene. Nusmila Lohani, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 May 2020 Waxworms, which are the larvae of wax moths, and spikes or eurolarvae, which are blue bottlefly maggots, are the most popular live baits for hardwater bluegills. Outdoor Life, 27 Jan. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wax moth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1766, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wax moth was in 1766

Dictionary Entries Near wax moth

Cite this Entry

“Wax moth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wax%20moth. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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