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Datasheet

Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 September 2015
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Lymantria dispar
  • Preferred Common Name
  • gypsy moth
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • 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 the southern hemisphere thoug...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Egg masses
TitleEgg masses
Caption
CopyrightEntomology WSL
Egg masses
Egg massesEntomology WSL
Egg mass
TitleEgg mass
Caption
CopyrightEntomology WSL
Egg mass
Egg massEntomology WSL
Males and females usually go through five and six larval instars, respectively, but additional instars are often observed. Mature male larvae reach a length of about 40-50 mm and female larvae about 60-70 mm.
TitleFifth-instar larva
CaptionMales and females usually go through five and six larval instars, respectively, but additional instars are often observed. Mature male larvae reach a length of about 40-50 mm and female larvae about 60-70 mm.
CopyrightMarc Kenis
Males and females usually go through five and six larval instars, respectively, but additional instars are often observed. Mature male larvae reach a length of about 40-50 mm and female larvae about 60-70 mm.
Fifth-instar larvaMales and females usually go through five and six larval instars, respectively, but additional instars are often observed. Mature male larvae reach a length of about 40-50 mm and female larvae about 60-70 mm.Marc Kenis
All larval instars are hairy but show considerable variation in their coloration. First-instar larvae are grey-black. Later instars are more colourful with black, yellow, blue and red patterns. The head is predominantly yellow in the last three instars.
TitleFifth-instar larva
CaptionAll larval instars are hairy but show considerable variation in their coloration. First-instar larvae are grey-black. Later instars are more colourful with black, yellow, blue and red patterns. The head is predominantly yellow in the last three instars.
CopyrightMarc Kenis
All larval instars are hairy but show considerable variation in their coloration. First-instar larvae are grey-black. Later instars are more colourful with black, yellow, blue and red patterns. The head is predominantly yellow in the last three instars.
Fifth-instar larvaAll larval instars are hairy but show considerable variation in their coloration. First-instar larvae are grey-black. Later instars are more colourful with black, yellow, blue and red patterns. The head is predominantly yellow in the last three instars.Marc Kenis
The male has a slender body and is grey-brown in colour, with dark wing markings. The wingspan is about 3-4 cm.
TitleAdult male
CaptionThe male has a slender body and is grey-brown in colour, with dark wing markings. The wingspan is about 3-4 cm.
CopyrightEntomology WSL
The male has a slender body and is grey-brown in colour, with dark wing markings. The wingspan is about 3-4 cm.
Adult maleThe male has a slender body and is grey-brown in colour, with dark wing markings. The wingspan is about 3-4 cm.Entomology WSL
The female has a larger wingspan (4-7 cm) and body than the male. Her wing colours are nearly all white with wavy, black bands across the forewing. Her abdomen is distended with an egg mass, and is white with yellowish hairs.
TitleAdult female
CaptionThe female has a larger wingspan (4-7 cm) and body than the male. Her wing colours are nearly all white with wavy, black bands across the forewing. Her abdomen is distended with an egg mass, and is white with yellowish hairs.
CopyrightMarc Kenis
The female has a larger wingspan (4-7 cm) and body than the male. Her wing colours are nearly all white with wavy, black bands across the forewing. Her abdomen is distended with an egg mass, and is white with yellowish hairs.
Adult femaleThe female has a larger wingspan (4-7 cm) and body than the male. Her wing colours are nearly all white with wavy, black bands across the forewing. Her abdomen is distended with an egg mass, and is white with yellowish hairs.Marc Kenis

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Lymantria dispar Linnaeus

Preferred Common Name

  • gypsy moth

Other Scientific Names

  • Bombyx dispar Linnaeus
  • Hypogymna dispar Linnaeus
  • Liparis dispar Linnaeus
  • Ocneria dispar Linnaeus
  • Phalaena dispar Linnaeus
  • Porthesia dispar Linnaeus
  • Porthetria dispar Linnaeus

International Common Names

  • Spanish: lagarta peluda de los encinares
  • French: bombyx disparate; spongieuse; zig-zag

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: lovskovnonne
  • Finland: lehtinunna
  • Germany: Grossdickkopf; Schwammspinner, Gemeiner; Schwammspinner, Grosser
  • Israel: tavai haalon hasayir
  • Italy: bombice dispari; farfala dispari; limantria dispari
  • Japan: maimaiga
  • Netherlands: Plakker; Stamuil; Zigzag
  • Norway: lauvskognonne
  • Sweden: loevskogsnunna; traedgardsnunna
  • Turkey: kir tirtili

EPPO code

  • LYMADI (Lymantria dispar)

Summary of Invasiveness

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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 the southern hemisphere though some suitable hosts do occur in these areas. The gypsy moth is apparently not able to persist in very cold (e.g. Finland) or warm (subtropical to tropical) regions.

The gypsy moth is a 'proven' invader. The broad range of host plants that it utilizes (Liebhold et al. 1995), along with its high reproductive rate combine to make this insect a very successful invader of many types of forest and urban landscapes. Another characteristic that contributes to the gypsy moth's invasiveness is its propensity to be transported on human-made objects (e.g., egg masses can be laid on vehicles, logs, etc.). Perhaps the greatest limitation this species has as an invader is that females (of the European strain) are incapable of flight and this limits its rate of unassisted range expansion. However, as females of the Asian strain are capable of flight and all strains can lay their eggs on human-made objects, established populations are nevertheless able to spread.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Erebidae
  •                             Subfamily: Lymantriinae
  •                                 Genus: Lymantria
  •                                     Species: Lymantria dispar

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The species has been placed in various genera, including Porthetria, before being assigned to the genus Lymantria.

Description

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Eggs

Grey, pellet-like eggs (ca 1 mm diam.) are laid in single clusters, or masses, from 80 to 1200 individuals. Egg masses are ca 2-5 mm long, 0.5-2 mm wide, and are covered by a dense, yellowish coating of hair sloughed off from the female abdomen. Egg masses are found mainly on trunks or lower branches, but also on rocks, walls, fences, etc.

Larvae

Males and females usually go through five and six instars, respectively. Instars can be determined by the width of the head capsule (von Wellenstein and Schwenke, 1978). First-instar larvae are about 3 mm long. Mature male larvae reach a length of about 40-50 mm and female larvae about 60-70 mm. All instars are hairy but show considerable variation in their coloration. First instars are grey-black. Later instars are more colourful with black, yellow, blue and red patterns. The head is predominantly dark in the first three and yellow in the last three instars. The main characteristics of the gypsy moth larvae are, on the dorsum, two rows of blue tubercles on the first five segments and two rows of red tubercles on the following six segments. Late instars (e.g., 4th to 6th) can often be found resting on tree trunks or in other cryptic resting sites. Bands of burlap or other fabric can be placed around tree trunks to facilitate finding resting larvae.

Pupae

Pupae are dark brown and matted with reddish hairs, and are attached to trunks, stones or other objects by silken threads. Male and female pupae are 2-3 cm and 3-4 cm long, respectively. Pupae are also commonly found in bark crevices or other cryptic locations (including under burlap bands).

Adults

Sexes show sexual dimorphism. The male has a slender body and is grey-brown in colour, with dark wing markings. The wingspan is about 3-4 cm. Antennae are plumose and much longer than in the female. The female has a larger wingspan (4-7 cm) and body. Her wing colours are nearly all white with wavy, black bands across the forewing. Her abdomen is distended with an egg mass, and is white with yellowish hairs. Females produce a pheromone that attracts males for mating. Even though males are very sensitive in their ability to locate females, the inability of males to locate females apparently limits the viability of isolated low-density populations (Sharov et al., 1995; Contarini et al., 2009; Tobin et al., 2013).

Distribution

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L. dispar is of Eurasian origin. It is widespread from Portugal to Japan and from Finland to North Africa. In altitude it is limited to the growth zone of oaks and other preferred hosts. Moths of Asian and European origins are morphologically similar but differ in their ecological and behavioural characteristics, for example, in their flying capacity, host preferences, etc. Important genetic differences have been found (Bogdanowicz et al., 1993; Keena et al., 2008). The European strain was accidentally introduced from France into Massachusetts, USA, in 1869. It gradually spread south, north and west to reach Canada in 1924. Today it is considered permanently established in all New England states to Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Wisconsin, and in the Canadian Provinces Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Males are regularly caught in other US states and Canadian Provinces where eradication programmes are conducted to prevent establishment of this pest (USDA Forest Service, 1996, 1997; Hajek and Tobin, 2009; Kean et al., 2015). Eradication programmes are also focused on the Asian form of the gypsy moth that has been recently caught in several regions in North America.

 

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

CountryDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferencesNotes

ASIA

AfghanistanPresentEPPO, 2014
ArmeniaPresentMirzoyan & Mirzoyan, 2006
AzerbaijanPresentEPPO, 2014
ChinaPresentEPPO, 2014
-HebeiPresentEPPO, 2014
-HeilongjiangPresentEPPO, 2014
-JiangsuPresentEPPO, 2014
-JiangxiPresentEPPO, 2014
-JilinPresentEPPO, 2014
-LiaoningPresentEPPO, 2014
-Nei MengguPresentZhang et al., 2005; EPPO, 2014
-ShandongPresentEPPO, 2014
-TibetPresentEPPO, 2014
IndiaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
-Indian PunjabPresentEPPO, 2014
IranPresentEPPO, 2014
IraqPresentEPPO, 2014
IsraelPresentEPPO, 2014
JapanPresentEPPO, 2014
-HokkaidoWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-HonshuWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-KyushuWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentEPPO, 2014
KazakhstanPresentEPPO, 2014
Korea, DPRPresentEPPO, 2014
Korea, Republic ofPresentAPPPC, 1987; EPPO, 2014
KyrgyzstanWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
LebanonPresentEPPO, 2014
MongoliaPresentHauck et al., 2008
SyriaPresentEPPO, 2014
TaiwanPresentEPPO, 2014
TajikistanPresentEPPO, 2014
TurkeyWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
TurkmenistanPresentEPPO, 2014
UzbekistanPresentEPPO, 2014

AFRICA

AlgeriaPresentEPPO, 2014
MoroccoPresentEPPO, 2014
TunisiaPresentEPPO, 2014

NORTH AMERICA

CanadaRestricted distributionCanadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015; EPPO, 2014
-British ColumbiaEradicated1993EPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015; Kean et al., 2015
-New BrunswickRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentCanadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015; EPPO, 2014
-Nova ScotiaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-OntarioWidespreadEPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
-Prince Edward IslandPresentCanadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015; EPPO, 2014
-QuebecRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015
USARestricted distributionUSDA-APHIS, 2015; EPPO, 2014
-ArkansasAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-CaliforniaAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA-APHIS, 2004; EPPO, 2014; Kean et al., 2015
-ColoradoAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-ConnecticutWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-DelawareWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-FloridaEradicatedUSDA-APHIS, 2004; EPPO, 2014; Kean et al., 2015
-GeorgiaAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-IdahoAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-IllinoisRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-IndianaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-IowaPresent, few occurrencesEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-KentuckyRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-MaineRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-MarylandWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-MassachusettsWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-MichiganWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-MontanaAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-NebraskaAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-New HampshireWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-New JerseyWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-New MexicoAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-New YorkWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-North CarolinaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-OhioRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-OregonEradicatedUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; USDA-APHIS, 2004; EPPO, 2014; Kean et al., 2015
-PennsylvaniaWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-Rhode IslandWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-South CarolinaEradicatedUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; USDA-APHIS, 2004; EPPO, 2014; Kean et al., 2015
-South DakotaAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-TennesseeAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-UtahAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015
-VermontWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-VirginiaWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-WashingtonEradicatedUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; USDA-APHIS, 2004; EPPO, 2014; Kean et al., 2015
-West VirginiaWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-WisconsinWidespreadEPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
-WyomingAbsent, intercepted onlyUSDA, 1997; USDA, 1996; Kean et al., 2015

EUROPE

AustriaWidespread****Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
BelarusPresentEPPO, 2014
BelgiumPresentEPPO, 2014
BulgariaWidespreadEPPO, 2014
CroatiaWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
CyprusWidespreadEPPO, 2014
Czech RepublicWidespreadEPPO, 2014
DenmarkPresentEPPO, 2014
FinlandAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO, 2014
FranceWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-CorsicaPresentEPPO, 2014
GermanyWidespreadEPPO, 2014
GreecePresentEPPO, 2014; Georgieva et al., 2013
HungaryWidespreadEPPO, 2014; Csóka et al., 2014
ItalyWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-SardiniaWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-SicilyPresentEPPO, 2014
LithuaniaWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
MacedoniaPresentEPPO, 2014; Georgieva et al., 2013
MoldovaPresentEPPO, 2014
NetherlandsRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
PolandWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
PortugalWidespreadEPPO, 2014
RomaniaWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
Russian FederationWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-Eastern SiberiaPresentEPPO, 2014
-Russian Far EastWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-SiberiaWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979
-Western SiberiaPresentEPPO, 2014
SerbiaPresentEPPO, 2014
SlovakiaWidespreadNovotny et al., 1998; EPPO, 2014
SloveniaPresentJurc, 2006
SpainWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
-Balearic IslandsPresentEPPO, 2014
SwedenRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
SwitzerlandWidespreadEPPO, 2014
UKPresent, few occurrencesCannon et al., 2004; EPPO, 2014; Nettleton, 1996
-Channel IslandsPresentEPPO, 2014
-England and WalesPresentShaw & Skelton, 2008
UkraineWidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)WidespreadGiese & Schneider, 1979

OCEANIA

New ZealandEradicatedKean et al., 2015; Ross, 2005

Risk of Introduction

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Natural dispersal of European strains of gypsy moth is limited to short-distance, wind-borne movement of first instars (Liebhold et al., 1992). However, females of the Asian strain are capable of flying distances of >1 km. Range expansion of invading populations is primarily facilitated by long-range movement by humans (Hajek and Tobin, 2010; Kean et al., 2015). Egg masses can be laid on cars, trucks, trains or boats, on logs, or containers that are inadvertently moved by humans. The accidental introduction of L. dispar represents a risk in all temperate countries where it is not yet present, for example, New Zealand and Australia. The USA and Canada have extensive quarantine and eradication programmes to prevent establishment of new isolated populations beyond the current range. The USA currently has a large barrier zone project designed to delay the permanent establishment in states and provinces where the pest is not yet firmly established (Tobin and Blackburn, 2007). New Zealand imports many used cars from Japan and this is a known pathway of gypsy moth introduction (egg masses). In 2003 a Hokkaido gypsy moth male (Lymantria umbrosa) was detected in a pheromone trap in Hamilton, New Zealand (presumably the progeny of an egg mass introduced on a used car) and this detection was followed up by an aerial application of Bacillus thuringiensis for eradication purposes (Kean et al., 2015).

Hosts/Species Affected

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Main hosts are defined as those that can be consumed by all gypsy moth instars without loss in developmental rate, developmental success, and adult fitness; other hosts are defined as those that can be consumed by some gypsy moth instars (often later instars) but with negative impacts, such as reduced developmental rate or reduced fecundity as adults. For a full list of main hosts, other hosts, and plants that have been shown to be non-suitable hosts, see Liebhold et al. (1995).

Host Plants/Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Acacia (wattles)FabaceaeOther
Acer (maples)AceraceaeOther
Acer negundo (box elder)AceraceaeOther
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)AceraceaeOther
Acer rubrum (red maple)AceraceaeOther
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)AceraceaeOther
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)AceraceaeOther
Alnus (alders)BetulaceaeMain
Alnus alnobetula (green alder)BetulaceaeOther
Alnus incana (grey alder)BetulaceaeMain
Alnus maritimaBetulaceaeMain
Alnus oblongifoliaBetulaceaeMain
Alnus rubra (red alder)BetulaceaeMain
Alnus serrulataBetulaceaeOther
Betula (birches)BetulaceaeMain
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)BetulaceaeOther
Betula lenta (sweet birch)BetulaceaeOther
Betula nigra (river birch)BetulaceaeMain
Betula occidentalis (Water birch)BetulaceaeOther
Betula papyrifera (paper birch)BetulaceaeMain
Betula pendula (common silver birch)BetulaceaeMain
Betula populifolia (gray birch)BetulaceaeMain
Betula pumila (low birch)BetulaceaeMain
Carpinus (hornbeams)BetulaceaeOther
Carya (hickories)JuglandaceaeOther
Castanea (chestnuts)FagaceaeOther
Castanea sativa (chestnut)FagaceaeOther
Cedrus (cedars)PinaceaeOther
Cedrus libani (cedar of Lebanon)PinaceaeOther
CorylusBetulaceaeMain
Corylus americana (American hazel)BetulaceaeMain
Corylus avellana (hazel)BetulaceaeMain
Corylus cornuta (beaked hazel)BetulaceaeOther
Cotinus coggygria (fustet)AnacardiaceaeMain
Cotinus obovatusAnacardiaceaeMain
Crataegus (hawthorns)RosaceaeMain
EucalyptusMyrtaceaeOther
Eucalyptus camaldulensis (red gum)MyrtaceaeOther
Fagus (beeches)FagaceaeOther
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)FagaceaeOther
Fagus sylvatica (common beech)FagaceaeOther
Hamamelis virginiana (Virginian witch-hazel)HamamelidaceaeMain
Juglans (walnuts)JuglandaceaeOther
Larix (larches)PinaceaeMain
Larix decidua (common larch)PinaceaeMain
Larix kaempferi (Japanese larch)PinaceaeMain
Larix laricina (American larch)PinaceaeMain
Larix lyallii (subalpine larch)PinaceaeMain
Larix occidentalis (western larch)PinaceaeMain
Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet gum)HamamelidaceaeMain
Litchi chinensis (lichi)SapindaceaeOther
Lithocarpus edulisFagaceaeOther
Malus (ornamental species apple)RosaceaeMain
Malus angustifoliaRosaceaeMain
Malus coronaria (sweet crab-apple)RosaceaeMain
Malus domestica (apple)RosaceaeOther
Malus fuscaRosaceaeMain
Malus ioensis (prairie crab-apple)RosaceaeMain
Ostrya virginiana (American hophornbeam)BetulaceaeMain
Picea (spruces)PinaceaeOther
Picea engelmannii (Engelmann spruce)PinaceaeOther
Picea glauca (white spruce)PinaceaeOther
Picea jezoensis (Yeddo spruce)PinaceaeOther
Picea mariana (black spruce)PinaceaeOther
Picea rubens (red spruce)PinaceaeOther
Pinus (pines)PinaceaeOther
Pinus brutia (brutian pine)PinaceaeOther
Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine)PinaceaeOther
Pinus echinata (shortleaf pine)PinaceaeOther
Pinus resinosa (red pine)PinaceaeOther
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)PinaceaeOther
Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)PinaceaeOther
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)PinaceaeOther
Pinus taeda (loblolly pine)PinaceaeOther
Pistacia vera (pistachio)AnacardiaceaeMain
Platanus acerifolia (London planetree)PlatanaceaeOther
Populus (poplars)SalicaceaeMain
Populus angustifolia (narrow-leaved poplar)SalicaceaeMain
Populus balsamifera (balm of Gilead)SalicaceaeMain
Populus deltoides (poplar)SalicaceaeOther
Populus grandidentata (Bigtooth aspen)SalicaceaeMain
Populus heterophylla (Swamp cottonwood)SalicaceaeMain
Populus nigra (black poplar)SalicaceaeMain
Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen)SalicaceaeMain
Prunus (stone fruit)RosaceaeOther
Prunus armeniaca (apricot)RosaceaeOther
Prunus domestica (plum)RosaceaeOther
Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)RosaceaeOther
Prunus serotina (black cherry)RosaceaeOther
Prunus serrulata (Japanese flowering cherry)RosaceaeOther
Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir)PinaceaeOther
Pyrus communis (European pear)RosaceaeOther
Quercus (oaks)FagaceaeMain
Quercus alba (white oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus austrinaFagaceaeMain
Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus ellipsoidalis (Northern pin oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus garryana (Garry oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus ilex (holm oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus lobata (California white oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus montana (basket oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinquapin oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus palustris (pin oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus petraea (durmast oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus robur (common oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus rubra (northern red oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus suber (cork oak)FagaceaeMain
Quercus velutina (black oak)FagaceaeMain
Rhus copallina (Shining sumac)AnacardiaceaeMain
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)AnacardiaceaeMain
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)AnacardiaceaeMain
Robinia (locust)FabaceaeOther
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)FabaceaeOther
Rosa (roses)RosaceaeOther
Salix (willows)SalicaceaeMain
Salix alba (white willow)SalicaceaeMain
Salix babylonica (weeping willow)SalicaceaeMain
Salix discolorSalicaceaeMain
Salix fragilis (crack willow)SalicaceaeMain
Salix nigra (black willow)SalicaceaeMain
Sorbus americana (American mountainash)RosaceaeMain
Sorbus aucuparia (mountain ash)RosaceaeMain
Tilia americana (basswood)TiliaceaeMain
Tilia cordata (small-leaf lime)TiliaceaeMain
Ulmus (elms)UlmaceaeOther
Vaccinium (blueberries)EricaceaeOther

Growth Stages

Top of pageFlowering stage, Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

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Hatching larvae usually start feeding on flushing buds and later on newly-expanded leaves. High populations often result in total tree defoliation, often across a large spatial area.

Symptoms List

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SignLife StagesType

Inflorescence

external feeding

Leaves

external feeding

Biology and Ecology

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Doane and McManus (1981) extensively reviewed most aspects of the biology, ecology and population dynamics of L. dispar. Other reviews include von Wellenstein and Schwenke (1978), Leonard (1974), Montgomery and Wallner (1988) and Elkinton and Liebhold (1990). The life-cycle of the gypsy moth is as follows. The gypsy moth has one generation per year. Overwintering eggs hatch when host trees produce new leaves, from late March to late May, depending on the climatic situation. Newly hatched larvae can remain on the egg masses for several days before climbing the trees to the branch tips and starting to feed on buds and new leaves. First instars are the main natural dispersal stage. As larvae move upwards, they spin a thread of silk and suspend themselves from the threads that eventually fracture. The young larva is then carried by the wind. While most larvae will not move more than 200 m, some are reported to travel several kilometres. During the first three instars, feeding occurs by daylight. From the fourth instar onwards, larvae mainly feed at night and leave the foliage during daylight to seek resting sites in the litter or on the trunk. However, at outbreak density, feeding continues during the day. Males usually have five instars and females six. The final instars are by far the most voracious feeders. On average, during its entire life a single larva consumes a total of about 1m² of foliage (Doane and McManus 1981).

The larval stage lasts around 8 weeks. At the end of this period, larvae find a resting site, usually on a trunk, on a rock or in the litter, and surround themselves with a silken nest in which they will pupate. Pupal development is usually complete within 2 weeks. Males emerge 1 or 2 days before females and at emergence both sexes are sexually mature. Males are good flyers, but in Europe and North America, females are flightless, although their wings are fully formed. In Asia, however, females are capable of flight. After emergence, females crawl to an elevated place, usually the tree trunk, and begin releasing a pheromone to attract males. Mating lasts up to 1 hour, and although males are capable of mating several times, females usually only mate once. Immediately after mating oviposition of a single egg mass begins. All adults are short-lived, surviving for less than 1 week where no feeding occurs. Embryogenesis commences soon after oviposition and fully formed larvae are complete in the eggs about 2 months after their oviposition. Eggs undergo obligatory diapause. It is not uncommon to find a small number of larvae hatching in late summer but these never develop.

Natural Enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Actia jocularisParasiteLarvae
Agria affinisParasite
Anastatus bifasciatusParasiteAvci, 2009
Anastatus japonicusParasite
Anastatus japonicusParasiteEggs
Anastatus kashmirensisParasite
Anatis labiculataPredator
Anthrenus vladimiriPredator
Apanteles flavicoxisParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Apanteles xanthostigmaParasiteAvci, 2009
Apechthis compunctorParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Aplocnemus jejunusPredator
Bacillus cereusPathogenLarvae
Bacillus thuringiensis kurstakiPathogenLarvaeBroderick et al., 2006North America, Europe
Beauveria bassianaPathogen
Bessa parallelaParasiteLarvae
Blarina brevicaudaPredator
Blepharipa flavoscutellataParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Blepharipa pratensisParasiteLarvae
Blepharipa schineriParasiteLarvae
Blepharipa sericariaeParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Blepharipa tibialisParasiteLarvae
Blondelia nigripesParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Blondelia nigripesParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Borrelinavirus reprimensPathogen
Brachymeria lasusParasite
Brachymeria tibialisParasitePupae
Calosoma calidumPredatorLarvae
Calosoma chinensePredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Calosoma frigidumPredatorLarvae
Calosoma inquisitorPredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Calosoma reticulatumPredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Calosoma sycophantaPredatorLarvae/Pupae
Camponotus ferrugineusPredator
CarabidaePredatorLarvae/Pupae
Carabus arcensisPredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Carabus auratusPredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Carabus glabratusPredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Carabus nemoralisPredatorLarvae
Carabus nemoratusPredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Carabus violaceusPredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Carcelia beijingensisParasiteLarvae
Carcelia gnavaParasiteLarvae
Carcelia laxifronsParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Carcelia lymantriaeParasiteLarvae
Carcelia rasaParasiteLarvae
Carcelia separataParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Casinaria arjunaParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Casinaria tenuiventrisParasite
Ceranthia samarensisParasiteLarvae
Ceromasia rubrifronsParasiteLarvae
Coccygomimus morgauesiParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Compsilura concinnataParasiteLarvae
Conidiobolus thromboidesPathogen
Cordyceps militarisPathogen
Cotesia callimoneParasiteLarvae
Cotesia laevicepsParasiteLarvae
Cotesia melanoscelaParasiteLarvae
Cotesia schaferiParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Cryptorhopalum ruficornePredator
Cuculus canorusPredator
cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virusesPathogenLarvae
Densonucleosis virusPathogenLarvae
Dermestes aterPredator
Dermestes erichsoniPredator
Dermestes lardariusPredator
Dinorhynchus dybowskyiPredatorUSAornamental woody plants
Dolichovespula maculataPredator
Drino inconspicuaParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Entomophaga aulicaePathogen
Entomophaga grylliPathogen
Entomophaga maimaigaPathogenCsóka et al., 2014
Euceros superbusParasite
Eurytoma goidanichiParasiteLarvae/Pupae
Eurytoma verticillataParasiteLarvae/Pupae
Exorista fasciataParasiteLarvaeMassachusetts
Exorista japonicaParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Exorista larvarumParasiteLarvae
Exorista rossicaParasiteLarvaeMassachusetts; USAornamental woody plants
Exorista segregataParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Ficedula zanthopygiaPredator
Formica neogagatesPredator
Formica polyctenaPredator
Formica subsericeaPredator
Furia pierisPathogen
Fusarium polyphialidicumPathogen
Gibberella pulicarisPathogen
Glischrochilus quadripunctatusPredatorUSAornamental woody plants
Glyptapanteles fulvipesParasiteLarvae
Glyptapanteles indiensisParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Glyptapanteles liparidisParasiteLarvae
Glyptapanteles porthetriaeParasiteLarvae
Goniocera versicolorParasiteLarvae
Gregopimpla inquisitorParasite
Gregopimpla malacosomaeParasite
Gryon hungaricusParasite
Haplodrassus cornisPredator
Hexamermis albicansParasite
Hirsutella thompsoniiPathogen
Hyposoter lymantriaeParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Hyposoter tricoloripesParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Itoplectis ensliniParasite
Lecanicillium lecaniiPathogen
Levinea amalonicaPathogen
Lymantrichneumon disparisParasite
Marietta leopardinaParasite
Masicera sphingivoraParasiteLarvae
Masicera sylvaticaParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Megatoma conspersaPredator
Mermis albicansParasite
Mesocomys albitarsisParasite
Metarhizium anisopliaePathogen
Meteorus pulchricornisParasiteLarvae
Meteorus versicolorParasiteLarvae
Monodontomerus aeneusParasite
Monodontomerus aereusParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Muscina pabulorumPredator
Nomuraea rileyiPathogen
Nosema furnacalisPathogen
Nosema infuscatellusPathogen
Nosema lymantriaePathogenCzechoslovakia
Nosema medinalisPathogen
Nosema serbicaPathogen
Nucleopolyhedrosis virusPathogenLarvae
Ooencyrtus kuvanaeParasiteEggs
Paecilomyces farinosusPathogen
Paecilomyces fumosoroseusPathogen
Paecilomyces tenuipesPathogenGhazavi et al., 2005
Pales pavidaParasiteLarvaeUSASalix
Pales processioneaeParasiteLarvae
Palexorista disparisParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Parasetigena agilisParasiteLarvaeUSA
Parasetigena silvestrisParasiteLarvae
Parus atricapillusPredator
Parus caeruleusPredator
Parus majorPredator
Passer domesticusPredator
Passer montanusPredator
Peribaea tibialisParasiteLarvae
Peromyscus leucopusPredator
Phanerotoma atraParasiteLarvae
Phobocampe disparisParasiteLarvae
Phobocampe lymantriaeParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Phobocampe unicinctaParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Phoenicurus auroreusPredator
Phryxe magnicornisParasiteLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Phryxe primaParasiteLarvae
Phryxe vulgarisParasiteLarvae
PhytodietusParasiteKostro-Ambroziak, 2011
Pimpla contemplatorParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Pimpla disparisParasitePupae
Pimpla hypochondriacaParasiteItaly; Sardinia; USAornamental woody plants; Quercus suber
Pleistophora schubergiPathogen
Polistes jadwigaePredator
Procrustes coriaceusPredatorLarvaeUSAornamental woody plants
Pseudomonas aeruginosaPathogen
Rogas indiscretusParasiteLarvaePennsylvania; Massachusetts; New Jersey; Connecticut; USAornamental woody plants
Rogas lymantriaeParasiteLarvae
Sarcophaga harpaxParasite
Sarcophaga portschinskyiParasite
Sarcophaga uliginosaParasite
Senometopia excisaParasiteLarvae
Senometopia separataParasiteLarvae
Serratia marcescensPathogen
Siphona samarensisParasiteLarvae
Sitta europaeaPredator
Spicaria coccosporaPathogen
Steinernema carpocapsaeParasite
Steinernema feltiaeParasite
Streptococcus faecalisPathogen
Tachina grossaParasiteLarvae
Telenomus phalaenarumParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Thelohania similisPathogen
Thelymorpha marmorataParasiteLarvae
Theronia atalantaeParasiteItaly; Sardinia; USAornamental woody plants; Quercus suber
Tolypocladium niveumPathogen
Trichogramma bulutiParasiteEggs
Trichogramma dendrolimiParasite
Trichogramma kilinceriParasiteEggs
Trichomalopsis peregrinusParasiteUSAornamental woody plants
Tyndarichus navaeParasite
Vespula maculifronsPredator
Zenillia libatrixParasiteLarvaeUSASalix
Zhantievus lymantriaePredator

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Natural enemies of L. dispar have been extensively studied in all regions where the pest occurs, mainly as part of biological control programmes (Doane and McManus, 1981; Elkinton and Liebhold, 1990; McCullough et al., 2001; Tobin et al., 2012). Over 100 species of parasitoids have been reported to attack the gypsy moth in Eurasia. Only the most abundant and frequently reared parasitoids are listed in the table. Braconid parasitoids of the gypsy moth have been reviewed by Marsh (1979); ichneumonids by Gupta (1983) and tachinids by Sabrosky and Reardon (1976). More than 50 parasitoid species were introduced into North America, but only 11 have established (Kenis and Lopez Vaamonde, 1998). The most abundant and frequent parasitoids on both continents are the tachinid larval parasitoids: Compsilura concinnata, Parasetigena silvestris and Blepharipa pratensis; the braconid larval parasitoid Cotesia melanoscelus; the egg parasitoid Ooencyrtus kuvanae and the pupal parasitoid Brachymeria intermedia. Other important parasitoids in Eurasia include the braconid larval parasitoids Glyptapanteles porthetriae, G. liparidis and Meteorus pulchricornis; the tachinid larval parasitoids Blepharipa schineri and Exorista spp. and the eupelmid egg parasitoid, Anastatus japonicus. Birds, small mammals (e.g. mice and shrews) and invertebrate predators (e.g. the carabid beetle Calosoma sycophanta) are also known to be important mortality factors, especially at low prey density. Spatial and temporal variation in abundance of small mammal predators is closely tied with the onset of gypsy moth outbreaks (Elkinton and Liebhold, 1990; Jones et al., 1998; Liebhold et al., 2000). Dermestid beetles have been reported as major natural enemies in Morocco (Herard, 1979). In dense outbreak populations diseases are important sources of mortality. A nuclear polyhedrosis virus specific to L. dispar is present all over Eurasia and was apparently introduced into North America in the initial, founding gypsy moth population in 1869. The fungal pathogen, Entomophaga maimaiga, is often responsible for the collapse of outbreak populations of gypsy moth in Japan and, more recently, in North America (Hajek et al., 1993; Hajek et al. 2015). In Russia, microsporidia are known to be an important mortality factor for gypsy moth populations (Zelinskaya, 1980).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural dispersal of the European strain of gypsy moth is primarily by wind-borne dispersal of first instars, and adult flight by males, who are attracted to the sex pheromone released by females, who do not fly. In the Asian strain of gypsy moth, adult females are capable of sustained flight, which could facilitate natural dispersal and population spread.

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing/footwear and possessionsYesYes
Containers and packaging (wood)YesYesKean et al., 2015
Land vehiclesYesYesKean et al., 2015; Liebhold & Tobin, 2006; Ross, 2005
Plants or parts of plantsYesYesKean et al., 2015; McManus, 2007

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
BarkeggsNoYesPest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Stems (above ground), Shoots, Trunks, Brancheseggs; larvae; pupaeNoYesPest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
WoodeggsNoYesPest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bulbs, Tubers, Corms, Rhizomes
Flowers, Inflorescences, Cones, Calyx
Fruits (inc. pods)
Growing medium accompanying plants
Leaves
Roots
Seedlings, Micropropagated plants
True seeds (inc. grain)

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transportTimber typeUsed as packing
Loose wood packing materialYes
Non-woodYes
Processed or treated woodYes
Solid wood packing material with barkYes
Solid wood packing material without barkYes

Impact

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In the gypsy moth's native range in Eurasia, outbreaks sometimes occur, but they tend to be localized and of short duration. Severe defoliation results in reduced growth increment and crown dieback, but tree mortality is only occasionally observed. This is in contrast to North America, where major outbreaks tend to occur every 5-10 years, last 2-3 years each time, and occur over a spatially widespread area (Johnson et al., 2005, 2006; Haynes et al., 2009). Two to three years of complete defoliation often results in significant tree mortality, particularly during drought conditions or when trees are stressed by other factors, such as plant pathogens. The difference in outbreak frequency and intensity between gypsy moth in its native Eurasia and North America could be due to absence of certain natural enemies.

L. dispar is considered one of the most important non-native forest pests in the northeastern and Midwestern USA. From 1924-2013, over 37 million hectares were defoliated, including over 11 million hectares between 1980 and 1983; during this outbreak, in Pennsylvania in 1981 alone, timber loss was estimated to be more than US$ 72 million (Montgomery and Wallner, 1988). Other notable outbreaks in the USA occurred between 1989-1993 (>7.4 million hectares) and 2006-2010 (>2.3 million hectares). As the range of the gypsy moth continues to expand, these impacts are also likely to increase (Tobin et al., 2012). In addition to timber impacts, other impacts include costs and losses to the urban and suburban forest including hazard tree removal and replacement, residential impacts, and impacts to the recreational sector (Leuschner et al., 1996; Bigsby et al., 2014).

Environmental Impact

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The environmental impact of the gypsy moth in its introduced range in North America appears to exceed that in its native range in Eurasia. Oaks and other main host trees in North America appear to be more susceptible to defoliation than its native host plant complex, thus repeated gypsy moth outbreaks have contributed to a regional decline in the component of oak in eastern North American forests (Morin et al., 2001). By doing so, it exacerbates an existing problem of inadequate oak regeneration in this region.

To manage gypsy moth, over 1 million ha of forests have been aerial sprayed with chemical pesticides and biopesticides, which could have serious impacts to both terrestrial and aquatic non-target organisms (Sample et al., 1996). However, in some cases the indirect effects of gypsy moth defoliation to other organisms could exceed the non-target effects of pesticide application (Manderino et al., 2014).

Impact: Biodiversity

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Little information exists about the impact of large-scale defoliation caused by the gypsy moth on native insect and herbaceous plant populations. A recent study showed that gypsy moth defoliation had severe negative effects on a major moth family, Geometridae, which was shown to be protected from the adverse effects of gypsy moth defoliation following application of a biopesticide to mitigate gypsy moth outbreaks (Manderino et al., 2014). Still, there remains concerns that the aerial spraying of pesticides for the control or eradication of gypsy moth populations could negatively impact native Lepidoptera, which is of particular concern for threatened and endangered species.

Recent evidence suggests that at least one parasitoid species (Compsilura concinnata) has had a deleterious impact on native Lepidoptera (Boettner et al., 2000). This is a generalist parasitoid that was introduced from Eurasia, which parasitizes gypsy moth larvae, but also attacks many other species of Lepidoptera. There is good evidence that parasitism has contributed to the decline and endangerment of native silkworm (Cecropia spp.) populations (Boettner et al., 2000).

Social Impact

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Gypsy moth is a serious nuisance in urban and suburban environments. Ornamental trees and shrubs in gardens and recreation areas are often defoliated and massive numbers of larvae sometimes crawl into houses, climb on fences, vehicles and people. Caterpillar hairs provoke allergenic reactions and the larvae contaminate water with their frass. A recent economic evaluation of gypsy moth impacts determined that gypsy moth impacts on homeowners vastly exceeded other impacts (e.g., timber) and that homowners were willing to pay vast sums of money to control populations (Leuschner et al., 1996; Bigsby et al., 2014).

Detection and Inspection

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Pheromone-baited traps are the primary method for detecting and delimiting new isolated gypsy moth populations in previously uninfested areas. Pheromone-baited traps are a very sensitive tool that can be used to detect very low density populations that could not be detected using any other method. Every year, over 300,000 traps are deployed in the USA for detection/delimitation alone (Tobin et al., 2012). When a new population is detected using pheromone traps, it is a common practice to make a search for gypsy moth life stages in order to confirm the presence of a reproducing population. However, given the difficulty of detecting low-density populations in this way, life stages cannot always be found in all populations.

Larvae on foliage are easily distinguishable from other defoliators. Late in the year, host pupae and egg masses on tree trunks indicate gypsy moth infestation. Egg mass counting is a common practice for monitoring infested areas to estimate population density and predict future outbreaks. In North America, the detection of gypsy moth outbreaks is also based on aerial defoliation surveys.

Prevention and Control

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Cultural Control

Silvicultural manipulation has been used as a long-term management strategy to limit the ability of gypsy moth populations to increase to outbreak densities. Such strategies are based on thinning strategies. Thinning to reduce host species preferred by the gypsy moth would theoretically reduce stand susceptibility, but is not very satisfactory because the most susceptible tree species, such as oak species, are also usually considered the most valuable timber species. Gottschalk (1993) also suggested presalvage thinning to remove low-vigour trees to lower stand vulnerability. Effects of silvicultural manipulations on gypsy moth populations and tree mortality are discussed by Muzika et al. (1998) and Liebhold et al. (1998).

Biological Control

Following the introduction of gypsy moth into North America in 1869, it was the target of several early and extensive biological control programmes (Howard and Fiske, 1911; Burgess and Crossman, 1929). About 80 species of natural enemies, parasitoids, predators and pathogens were introduced from 1906 to the present but most have failed to establish, possibly due to the lack of alternate hosts (Hoy, 1976). Only 11 parasitoids, one predator and two pathogens established upon their release, some of which have become important mortality factors in North America. Of major interest is the fungal pathogen Entomophaga maimaiga, which was probably introduced accidentally from eastern Asia in the 1980s. Since then, this pathogen has become an important natural enemy of the gypsy moth (Hajek et al., 1993) and it has recently been observed to have replaced the gypsy moth nuclear polyhedrosis virus as the dominant pathogen in outbreaking populations in the USA (Hajek et al., 2015).

Classical biological control programmes have also been implemented in Morocco, where the gypsy moth lacks several of its major natural enemies. The egg parasitoid Ooencyrtus kuvanae and the nuclear polyhedrosis virus were introduced from Europe (Fraval and Villemant, 1995). Other biological control attempts against the gypsy moth include mass releases of O. kuvanae were made in Bulgaria (Chernov, 1976), which resulted in 60% higher egg parasitism. Maksimovic and Sivcev (1984) released gypsy moth eggs to sparse populations to maintain a low density of hosts and sustain parasitoids, which increased parasitism and prevented defoliation in subsequent years.

Chemical Control

Efforts to suppress high density, outbreaking gypsy moth populations is primarily through the use of aerial applications of the bacterial biopesticide Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk). In environmentally sensitive areas where there are concerns of the non-targets effects of Btk, Gypchek is often used; Gyphek is the commercial formulation of the gypsy moth nuclear polyhedrosis virus. In the past, more broad-spectrum insecticides have been used, such as the insect growth regulator diflubenzuron and carbaryl, but many of these are no longer used, or used very sparingly, due to their non-target effects.

Semiochemical Control

The most dominant control strategy in efforts to slow the spread of the gypsy moth into uninfested areas in the USA is done using mating disruption strategies (Thorpe et al., 2006; Tobin and Blackburn, 2007). In mating disruption, plastic flakes are impregnated with synthetic pheromone and applied aerially to foliage, which floods the air with pheromone, hence interfering with the male moth’s ability to locate females who release sex pheromone to attract male mates. The overarching goal of mating disruption is to prevent male moths from locating females and mating. Mating disruption is most effective against low-density populations (Tobin et al., 2013), which are more common along the expanding gypsy moth range. In some cases, if a high infestation occurs within a larger area, one strategy is to use Btk with mating disruption; Btk is used against the ‘hot spot’ within a larger block treated with mating disruption (Suckling et al., 2012). 

Mechanical Control

Before chemical insecticides were available, the destruction of egg masses was a common, yet time-consuming, control method. Egg mass removal may still be used in high value stands such as gardens, recreational areas, or by private landowners.

Field Monitoring

There are three monitoring methods commonly used to assess the level of gypsy moth populations. Pheromone-baited traps are used in regions that lack established populations in early detection efforts, and in efforts to estimate low-to-medium population density along the expanding gypsy moth front (Tobin et al., 2012). At higher densities, counting egg masses is the most appropriate method to predict damage in the following year (Liebhold et al., 1994). Lastly, aerial defoliation surveys are used in North America to detect newly formed outbreaks.

Integrated Pest Management

In countries that are most affected by the gypsy moth problem, such as the USA and some regions of central Europe including Slovakia and Romania, the general control strategy is largely based on well defined IPM programmes that combine various monitoring methods, biological control, biochemical control, silvicultural methods and environmental considerations (Doane and McManus, 1981; Novotny et al., 1998; Orozumbekov et al., 2009; Tobin et al., 2012). 


 

References

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Giese RL, Schneider ML, 1979. Cartographic comparisons of Eurasian gypsy moth distribution (Lymantria dispar L.; Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). Entomological News, 90(1):1-16

Gottschalk KW, 1993. Silvicultural guidelines for forest stands threatened by the gypsy moth. General Technical Report - Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, No. NE-171:ii + 50 pp.; many ref.

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Contributors

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27/03/13 Review by:

Patrick Tobin, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

Distribution Maps

Top of page
Distribution map Afghanistan: Present
EPPO, 2014Armenia: Present
Mirzoyan & Mirzoyan, 2006Armenia: Present
Mirzoyan & Mirzoyan, 2006Austria: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Azerbaijan: Present
EPPO, 2014Azerbaijan: Present
EPPO, 2014Belgium: Present
EPPO, 2014Bulgaria: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Belarus: Present
EPPO, 2014Canada: Restricted distribution
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015; EPPO, 2014Canada
See regional map for distribution within the countryCanada
See regional map for distribution within the countryCanada
See regional map for distribution within the countryCanada
See regional map for distribution within the countryCanada
See regional map for distribution within the countryCanada
See regional map for distribution within the countrySwitzerland: Widespread
EPPO, 2014China: Present
EPPO, 2014China: Present
EPPO, 2014China
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryCyprus: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Cyprus: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Czech Republic: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Germany: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Denmark: Present
EPPO, 2014Algeria: Present
EPPO, 2014Algeria: Present
EPPO, 2014Spain: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Spain: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Spain
See regional map for distribution within the countryFrance: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014France
See regional map for distribution within the countryUK: Present, few occurrences
Cannon et al., 2004; EPPO, 2014UK
See regional map for distribution within the countryUK
See regional map for distribution within the countryGreece: Present
EPPO, 2014; Georgieva et al., 2013Greece: Present
EPPO, 2014; Georgieva et al., 2013Croatia: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Hungary: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; Csóka et al., 2014Israel: Present
EPPO, 2014Israel: Present
EPPO, 2014India: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014India
See regional map for distribution within the countryIraq: Present
EPPO, 2014Iraq: Present
EPPO, 2014Iraq: Present
EPPO, 2014Iran: Present
EPPO, 2014Iran: Present
EPPO, 2014Iran: Present
EPPO, 2014Italy: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Italy
See regional map for distribution within the countryItaly
See regional map for distribution within the countryItaly
See regional map for distribution within the countryJapan: Present
EPPO, 2014Japan
See regional map for distribution within the countryJapan
See regional map for distribution within the countryJapan
See regional map for distribution within the countryJapan
See regional map for distribution within the countryKyrgyzstan: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Korea, DPR: Present
EPPO, 2014Korea, Republic of: Present
APPPC, 1987; EPPO, 2014Kazakhstan: Present
EPPO, 2014Kazakhstan: Present
EPPO, 2014Lebanon: Present
EPPO, 2014Lebanon: Present
EPPO, 2014Lebanon: Present
EPPO, 2014Lithuania: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Morocco: Present
EPPO, 2014Morocco: Present
EPPO, 2014Moldova: Present
EPPO, 2014Macedonia: Present
EPPO, 2014; Georgieva et al., 2013Mongolia: Present
Hauck et al., 2008Netherlands: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014Poland: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Portugal: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Romania: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Serbia: Present
EPPO, 2014Russian Federation: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Russian Federation: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Russian Federation
See regional map for distribution within the countryRussian Federation
See regional map for distribution within the countryRussian Federation
See regional map for distribution within the countryRussian Federation
See regional map for distribution within the countrySweden: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014Slovenia: Present
Jurc, 2006Slovakia: Widespread
Novotny et al., 1998; EPPO, 2014Syria: Present
EPPO, 2014Syria: Present
EPPO, 2014Syria: Present
EPPO, 2014Tajikistan: Present
EPPO, 2014Turkmenistan: Present
EPPO, 2014Tunisia: Present
EPPO, 2014Tunisia: Present
EPPO, 2014Turkey: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Turkey: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Turkey: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Taiwan: Present
EPPO, 2014Taiwan: Present
EPPO, 2014Ukraine: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Ukraine: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014USA: Restricted distribution
USDA-APHIS, 2015; EPPO, 2014USA: Restricted distribution
USDA-APHIS, 2015; EPPO, 2014USA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUzbekistan: Present
EPPO, 2014Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro): Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979
  • = Present, no further details
  • = Evidence of pathogen
  • = Widespread
  • = Last reported
  • = Localised
  • = Presence unconfirmed
  • = Confined and subject to quarantine
  • = See regional map for distribution within the country
  • = Occasional or few reports
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Distribution map (asia) Afghanistan: Present
EPPO, 2014Armenia: Present
Mirzoyan & Mirzoyan, 2006Azerbaijan: Present
EPPO, 2014China: Present
EPPO, 2014Hebei: Present
EPPO, 2014Heilongjiang: Present
EPPO, 2014Jilin: Present
EPPO, 2014Jiangsu: Present
EPPO, 2014Jiangxi: Present
EPPO, 2014Liaoning: Present
EPPO, 2014Nei Menggu: Present
Zhang et al., 2005; EPPO, 2014Shandong: Present
EPPO, 2014Tibet: Present
EPPO, 2014Israel: Present
EPPO, 2014India: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014Indian Punjab: Present
EPPO, 2014Iraq: Present
EPPO, 2014Iran: Present
EPPO, 2014Japan: Present
EPPO, 2014Hokkaido: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Honshu: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Kyushu: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Ryukyu Archipelago: Present
EPPO, 2014Kyrgyzstan: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Korea, DPR: Present
EPPO, 2014Korea, Republic of: Present
APPPC, 1987; EPPO, 2014Kazakhstan: Present
EPPO, 2014Lebanon: Present
EPPO, 2014Mongolia: Present
Hauck et al., 2008Russian Federation: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Syria: Present
EPPO, 2014Tajikistan: Present
EPPO, 2014Turkmenistan: Present
EPPO, 2014Turkey: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Taiwan: Present
EPPO, 2014Ukraine: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Uzbekistan: Present
EPPO, 2014
Distribution map (europe) Armenia: Present
Mirzoyan & Mirzoyan, 2006Austria: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Azerbaijan: Present
EPPO, 2014Belgium: Present
EPPO, 2014Bulgaria: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Belarus: Present
EPPO, 2014Switzerland: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Cyprus: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Czech Republic: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Germany: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Denmark: Present
EPPO, 2014Algeria: Present
EPPO, 2014Spain: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Balearic Islands: Present
EPPO, 2014France: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Corsica: Present
EPPO, 2014UK: Present, few occurrences
Cannon et al., 2004; EPPO, 2014Channel Islands: Present
EPPO, 2014England and Wales: Present
Shaw & Skelton, 2008Greece: Present
EPPO, 2014; Georgieva et al., 2013Croatia: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Hungary: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; Csóka et al., 2014Iraq: Present
EPPO, 2014Iran: Present
EPPO, 2014Italy: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Sicily: Present
EPPO, 2014Sardinia: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Kazakhstan: Present
EPPO, 2014Lebanon: Present
EPPO, 2014Lithuania: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Morocco: Present
EPPO, 2014Moldova: Present
EPPO, 2014Macedonia: Present
EPPO, 2014; Georgieva et al., 2013Netherlands: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014Poland: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Portugal: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Romania: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Serbia: Present
EPPO, 2014Russian Federation: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Eastern Siberia: Present
EPPO, 2014Russian Far East: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Siberia: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979Western Siberia: Present
EPPO, 2014Sweden: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014Slovenia: Present
Jurc, 2006Slovakia: Widespread
Novotny et al., 1998; EPPO, 2014Syria: Present
EPPO, 2014Tunisia: Present
EPPO, 2014Turkey: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Ukraine: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro): Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979
Distribution map (africa) Cyprus: Widespread
EPPO, 2014Algeria: Present
EPPO, 2014Spain: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014Greece: Present
EPPO, 2014; Georgieva et al., 2013Israel: Present
EPPO, 2014Iraq: Present
EPPO, 2014Iran: Present
EPPO, 2014Sicily: Present
EPPO, 2014Lebanon: Present
EPPO, 2014Morocco: Present
EPPO, 2014Syria: Present
EPPO, 2014Tunisia: Present
EPPO, 2014Turkey: Widespread
Giese & Schneider, 1979; EPPO, 2014
Distribution map (north america) Canada: Restricted distribution
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015; EPPO, 2014New Brunswick: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015Newfoundland and Labrador: Present
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015; EPPO, 2014Nova Scotia: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015Ontario: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015Prince Edward Island: Present
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015; EPPO, 2014Quebec: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2015USA: Restricted distribution
USDA-APHIS, 2015; EPPO, 2014Connecticut: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Delaware: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Iowa: Present, few occurrences
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Illinois: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Indiana: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Kentucky: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Massachusetts: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Maryland: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Maine: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Michigan: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015North Carolina: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015New Hampshire: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015New Jersey: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015New York: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Ohio: Restricted distribution
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Pennsylvania: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Rhode Island: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Virginia: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Vermont: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015Wisconsin: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015West Virginia: Widespread
EPPO, 2014; USDA-APHIS, 2015
Distribution map (central america) USA: Restricted distribution
USDA-APHIS, 2015; EPPO, 2014
Distribution map (south america)
Distribution map (pacific) China: Present
EPPO, 2014Taiwan: Present
EPPO, 2014