Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Food Plants of the Gipsy Moth in America.

Abstract

This bulletin reports a series of investigations conducted in 1912,. 1913 and 1914 to determine the favoured food-plants of the gipsy moth [Lymantria dispar]. The trees and shrubs tested have been classified in the following four groups: -
I. Species which are favoured food-plants: Speckled alder, apple, mountain ash, American aspen, large-toothed aspen, balm-of-Gilead, American beech, grey birch, paper birch, red birch, blueberry box elder, red gum, hawthorn, hazelnut, beaked hazelnut, American larch, European larch, American linden, European linden, black oak, rock chestnut oak, dwarf chestnut oak, bur oak, pin oak, post oak, red oak, scarlet oak, bear oak, shingle oak, swamp white oak, white oak, lombardy poplar, pasture rose, service-berry, mountain sumac, scarlet sumac, staghorn sumac, white willow, glaucous willow, sandbar willow, witch-hazel.
II. Species which are favoured food after the earlier larval stages: Chestnut, hemlock, pitch pine red pine, scotch pine, jack pine, western white pine, white pine, beach plum, black spruce, Norway spruce, red spruce, white spruce.
III. Species which are not particularly favoured, but upon which a small proportion of the larvae may develop: European barberry, , bayberry, black birch, yellow birch, low blueberry, tall blueberry, sweet cherry, wild black cherry, wild red cherry, chokeberry, choke cherry, cottonwood, American cranberry, American elm, European elm, slippery elm, sweet fern, sweet gale, black gum, bitternut hickory, mockernut hickory, pignut hickory, shagbark hickory, American hornbeam, hop hornbeam, Norway maple, red maple, silver maple, sugar maple, pear, silver poplar, sassafras.
IV. Species which are not favoured: Arbor vitae, arrow-wood, maple-leaved arrow-wood, black ash, blue ash, red ash, white ash, white and flame azalea, fir balsam, high blackberry, larger blue-flag, butternut, hardy catalpa, red cedar, southern white cedar, cornus, cranberry-tree, red currant, bald cypress, dangleberry, narrow dock, flowering dogwood, American elder, swamp eubotrys, feverbush, grape, green brier, hackberry, pink hardhack, white hardhack, American white holly, bush honeysuckle, highbush huckleberry, inkberry, poison ivy, common juniper, Kentucky coffee-tree, mountain laurel, sheep laurel, black locust, honey locust, mountain maple, striped maple, red mulberry, white mulberry, Osage orange, red osier, pepperbush, persimmon, privet, raspberry, sarsaparilla, skunk cabbage, spice-bush, sweet brier, sweet pepper-bush, sycamore, Appalachian tea, tulip-tree, sweet viburnum, black walnut, bay-leaved willow, smooth winterberry.
The species noted in Class I. are at present dominant in the woodlands in the area now infested with the gipsy moth. The oaks and birches predominate over much of this area, and this increases the difficulty of improving the situation. Most of the species of high commercial value are included in Classes I. and II. In arranging combinations which will resist moth attack it is necessary to consider the soil and other conditions suitable for their successful growth and to endeavour to bring about replacements cheaply. The encouragement of coniferous growth is to be commended, provided the Class I. trees can be eliminated. Experimental work with different stands of forest growth is being conducted by Mr. G. E. Clement of the U.S. Bureau of Entomology, and practical advice is being given. In addition to forest trees and shrubs, plants of much importance to horticulture and for ornamental and city planting are included in the above lists. The apple is the horticultural crop most likely to be affected. The usual controls are briefly mentioned. Cases of severe injury to cranberries were observed in 1914 and the pecuniary loss is likely to be serious. In cities and parks, or on street or shade trees, the control of the gipsy moth requires large expenditure if the species favourable to the insect are to remain. When future plantings are made, other species should be selected and the lists given will furnish a guide in this respect. An index of the food-plants used in the experiments, both the scientific and popular names being given, is appended.