The gypsy moth Lymantria dispar is an important defoliator of a wide range of trees and shrubs in mainland Europe, where it periodically reaches outbreak numbers. The original British population of the moth fed on bog-myrtle Myrica gale and creeping willow Salix repens in the eastern fens, but became extinct in the early s. In a small colony of the polyphagous European population was discovered in northeast London.
The gypsy moth is likely to ultimately occupy virtually all portions of the temperate world where oaks and other suitable host plants occur. Consequently, the northern hemisphere is more at risk for establishment than Consequently, the northern hemisphere is more at risk for establishment than the southern hemisphere though some suitable hosts do occur in these areas.
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Male Asian gypsy moths have a forewing that is mm long and the females have a slightly larger forewing measuring mm. Males are active day and night in search of female pheromones, unlike many moths which are known to be strictly nocturnal. Adults are often brown in color with some versions having a white overall body color.
Gypsy moth is an insect native to Europe and Asia that has been severely weakening trees across North America. Despite the successful use of insect predators, as well as fungal and viral controls, gypsy moth populations do occasionally reach outbreak levels and continue to expand their range. Gypsy moth caterpillars defoliate host trees, mostly hardwood species, such as: oak, birch, poplar, willow, maple and others.
Authors: Espinosa, A. Hodges University of Florida. Although detected in North America, all populations have been successfully eradicated.
Although European gypsy moth Lymantria dispar dispar is established in the northeastern and northern midwestern parts of North America, members of the three subspecies of gypsy moth are constantly being introduced into new locations. Between andmultiple eradication efforts targeting gypsy moth populations were conducted in 24 states in the US. In more recent years, eradication efforts have also slowed the westward and southern spread of gypsy moth.
A printer friendly pdf-version of this FAQ is available here. The following is also available in Chinese - Simplified and Traditional. Adult moths frequently lay their egg masses on vessels and shipping containers, and since these egg clusters often survive to hatch at ports of call around the world, exclusion efforts are considered a priority by many local port authorities. Preventing the introduction and spread of AGM is a shared responsibility that relies on cumulative efforts at origin, en route and at arrival in port.
Scientific name: Lymantria dispar. Order: Lepidoptera. Examine your outdoor household items on a regular basis during the spring and summer months.
Gypsy moths are destructive pests of forests and horticulture and include three sub-species:. Gypsy moths pose a high biosecurity risk to Australia because of their tendency to hitchhike and their high reproductive rate. If gypsy moths established in Australia they would be extremely difficult and expensive to manage, partly because of their broad host range.