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Posted by on Apr 16, 2020 in TellMeWhy |

What Is the Scientific Name of Gypsy Moth?

What Is the Scientific Name of Gypsy Moth?

The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar dispar, commonly known as the European gypsy moth, or North American gypsy moth, is a moth in the family Erebidae that is of Eurasian origin. It has a range that extends over Europe, Africa, and North America.

Carl Linnaeus first described the species Lymantria dispar in 1758. The subject of classification has changed throughout the years, resulting in confusion surrounding the species’ taxonomy. This caused many references to describe this one species in different ways. The family has jumped between Lymantriidae, Noctuidae and Erebidae. Lymantria dispar dispar has been designated a subspecies of Lymantria dispar.

It is classified as a pest, and its larvae consume the leaves of over 500 species of trees, shrubs and plants. The gypsy moth is one of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees in the eastern United States. It is listed as one of the 100 most destructive invasive species worldwide.

Gypsy moth egg masses are typically laid on branches and trunks of trees, but egg masses may be found in any sheltered location. During outbreaks they have been known to fly to ships in port and lay their eggs on the ships. Four to six weeks later, embryos develop into larvae.

Content for this question contributed by Natalie Abram, resident of Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA