Tussock Moths (Lymantriidae)
(Order Lepidoptera, Moths)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Lymantria dispar
Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) male.

Tussock Moths (Lymantriidae) are a large and diverse family of moths most common in Africa, South Asia, and South American. About 35 species occur in North America, mostly in the eastern US and Canada. These moths are medium-sized with brownish, grayish, or whitish wings. The caterpillars usually are hairy with 2 anterior and 2-3 posterior hair tufts, and some species have stinging hairs. Tussock moths often are forest pests because the caterpillars feed on tree leaves. The Eurasian Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) is an invasive species and a major pest species in eastern North America.

Gypsy Moths are not known to occur in Nevada, but a population has become established in California and we see gypsy moth traps all over the place. Keep an eye out for this species and report it to the state entomologist if you find one.

For More Information: See the Butterflies and Moths website.

Lymantria dispar

Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) larvae raised by my 9-year-old friend Ben and his parents in Boston. The larvae was feeding on a Sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum) when found, and Ben raised it to adulthood on Sassafras leaves. Note the five sets of blue spots and six sets of red spots on the dorsum.

Lymantria dispar

Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) facial pattern.

Lymantria dispar Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar). Dorsal pattern and hairs at 10 days older than the above two photos.
Lymantria dispar Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar). Facial pattern 10 days older than the top two larvae photos.
Lymantria dispar Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar). Freshly emerged male. Females are more white and larger than males.
gypsy moth trap
Gypsy moth trap
Gypsy Moth
Gypsy moth trap
Gypsy Moth
Gypsy moth trap
Gypsy Moth
Gypsy moth trap end with entrance hole
Gypsy Moth
Gypsy moth trap bottom
Gypsy Moth
Hapless victim in gypsy moth trap

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 101020

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