Asian Gypsy Moth

Modifying Rearing Methods to Have Sufficient Quantities for Research

Research Issue

Because not all research on gypsy moth from other world areas can be conducted in the country of origin, the ability to rear all the gypsy moth strains in one place was critical to rapid progress on developing exclusion, detection, and eradication techniques. An artificial diet and rearing methods already existed for the North American gypsy moth but because of the strain differences some modifications were necessary to rear some of the other strains.

Our Research

Larger containers with more diet in them were evaluated. A two generation study comparing the three strains (the New Jersey Standard, West Virginia, and Russian Far East strains) and seven diets that varied in the amount of available iron (68-277 mg/liter of diet) was conducted.

Expected Outcomes

A consistently available, high quality supply of gypsy moths from several different world areas for research purposes.

Research Results

[photo:] Long larva from Honshu, Japan.

The larger containers with more diet were found to be adequate for all the strains.  Reducing the numbers of larvae per cup can also be used to reduce the need to refeed the strains that take longer to develop. There was variation in how much bioavailable iron the 3 strains required for normal development. Further study has found that strains from Asia require about twice as much iron as those from North America and strains of European origin require an intermediate amount of iron. A publication on this research is being developed.

Research Participant

Principal Investigator

  • Melody Keena, USDA Forest Service- Northern Research Station Research Entomologist
  • Last modified: May 18, 2020