Gypsy Moths. One of the most notorious pests of hardwood trees in the eastern United States. Scientific Classification. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Lepidoptera Family: Lymantriidae Tribe: Lymantrini Genus: Lymantria Species: Lymantria dispar.
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One of the most notorious pestsof hardwood trees in the eastern United States
Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: InsectaOrder: LepidopteraFamily: LymantriidaeTribe: LymantriniGenus: LymantriaSpecies: Lymantria dispar
(December 26, 1827 – April 22, 1895)
coup d’etat in 1852, and settled in what is now Medford, Massachusetts
Etienne Leopold Trouvelot
Early attempt at gypsy moth eradication… obviously unsuccessful as have been all other methods.
Gypsy moth egg masses on the trunk and branch of a tree
Gypsy moth larvae emerging from egg mass (first instar)
Older gypsy moth larvae showing five pairs of raised blue spots and six pairs of raised brick-red spots
Gypsy moth pupae after all instars are completed
Male gypsy moths will emerge first
Female gypsy moth laying eggs after mating occurs
Hybrids may be resistant to particular means of controls.
Feed more readily on conifers
Have better flight capabilities (females capable of flight)
Have a broader host range
Norfolk Island Pine
White OakQuercus alba
General range of the gypsy moth as of 2003. Photo courtesy of Sandy Liebhold.
Major changes will begin to appear in the vegetation since the gypsy moths will eat almost anything in sight
One of the biggest and major concerns is that there will be a potential loss of the economically critical and ecologically dominant on the oak species
Most studies are showing that forest compositional changes with the gypsy moth defoliation indicate that less susceptible species (in the near future) will dominate; which in turn will present the forest with problems
Defoliated ridge-top, western Massachusetts
Cluster of trees killed following gypsy moth defoliation, central PA. Defoliations like shown can significantly alter the habitat by removing high canopy species and promoting increases in shrub species like the Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
Parasitoid wasps (family Braconidae)
Virus killed gypsy moth larva
Gypsy moth remains after E. maimaiga
Can wipe out bee colonies.
Causes birth defects in mammals, especially dogs.
Worsens the condition of people with hypertension and people on anti-depressant drugs.
Impairs the function of the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, and the reproductive system.
Causes hyperactivity and learning disabilities in mammals.
Could increase the chance of heart attack in people with weak hearts.
The main break-down product, nitrosocarbaryl, which is easily created in the human gut, is a potent cancer-causing agent.
It causes irreversible chromosomal damage to human DNA
Other states like Wisconsin are changing their silvicultural techniques to help control the problem
Selection and spacing of the hardwoods trees could help reduce the speed in which the gypsy moths move
Also, the type of trees that are planted could also affect how many will die after a breakout
Woodlots also need to be stocked with trees and thinned to proper densities in order to control the spread
The variety of trees that are found within a woodlot could also help slow down an outbreak by providing less suitable hosts for the moth
Over the past 20 years, several millions of acres of forest land have been aerially sprayed with pesticides to control the outbreaks
There are areas in the infected areas that are treated by private companies, or by joint programs of state governments and the USDA Forest Service
In 1992, the USDA Forest Service began a pilot program in order to test the feasibility of slowing the spread of the gypsy moth
These STS pilot programs are currently being done in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and also in Michigan