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News & Press: Pests

InsectXaminer Episode 1: Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar)

Monday, March 30, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Gypsy moth has been in Massachusetts since the 1860's. This invasive insect from Europe often goes unnoticed, thanks to population regulation provided by the entomopathogenic fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga, as well as a NPV virus specific to gypsy moth caterpillars. (And to a lesser extent many other organisms, including other insects, small mammals, and birds who feed on gypsy moth.) However, if environmental conditions do not favor the life cycle of the fungus, outbreaks of gypsy moth caterpillars are possible. (Such as most recently from 2015-2018, with a peak in the gypsy moth population in 2017 in Massachusetts.) Egg masses, caterpillars, pupae, and adults are showcased here. Certain aspects of field identification of fungus and virus infected caterpillars is also included.