Gypsy moth.

Gypsy Moth

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The gypsy moth is an invading species and a really harmful pest in North America.

Gypsy moth.

Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) female laying her eggs in Toronto.

Gypsy moths appear to be seeming innocent inconspicuous dirty white moths that one would not give a second though. Yet they are capable of great destruction as their caterpillars eat all the vegetation in an area feasting on hundreds of different species of plants.

Gypsy moth male.

Male gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar).

Native to Eurasia, the gypsy moth was introduced to North American “by accident” in the in the eighteen-hundreds. Once it got loose the gypsy moth multiplied rapidly and started to spread over the eastern side of the continent.

Gypsy Moth Caterpillar

Because of its harmful nature people constantly try to get rid of the gypsy moth with seemingly little success.

Gypsy Moth Pupae.

Various biological agents are being used such as the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki and parasitic wasps in the family Encyrtidae are being used in an attempt to try to selectively kill off the gypsy moth and its caterpillars without wiping out the native insect population.

Gypsy moth.

Further Readings:

Lymantria dispar dispar on Wikipedia.
Gypsy Moth Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program.
Gypsy Moth Information – Hamilton Conservation Authority.
Gypsy moths.
Gypsy Moth Biology & Life Cycle.
Gypsy Moths on Dr. Bug.
Gypsy moth infestation discovered in Cloverdale.
Last updated: August 18, 2015

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