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Gypsy moth

 Image of Gypsy moth

Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lymantriidae

The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a moth in the family Lymantriidae of Eurasian origin. It is a non-native, invasive species that has been advancing into Ohio from Pennsylvania and Michigan over the past decade. Although white, chestnut, black and red oak are preferred. Gypsy moth caterpillars also eat hundreds of other tree and shrub species including oak, apple, alder, aspen, basswood, birch, poplar, willow, hawthorn, hemlock, tamarack (larch), pine, spruce, and witch hazel. Gypsy moth usually avoids ash, butternut, black walnut, locust, sycamore, and yellow poplar (tuliptree).

The brown male gypsy moth emerges first, flying in rapid zigzag patterns searching for females. The male gypsy moths are active throughout night and even daytime as well, unlike most moths, which are only nocturnal. When heavy, black-and-white egg-laden females emerge, they emit a chemical substance called a pheromone that attracts the males. After mating, the female lays her eggs in July and August close to the spot where she pupated. Then, both adult gypsy moths die.