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Gypsy Moth

Risk, Detection, and Spread

[photo:] Ridgetop defoliated due to gypsy moth in western MasachusettsThe gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is one of North America's most devastating forest pests. The species originally evolved in Europe and Asia where it is extremely polyphagous. However, within most forests in the eastern US, there are some species that are highly preferred by the gypsy moth and other species that are immune.

The relative dominance of highly preferred tree species appears to be the major determinant of forest susceptibility (defoliation potential). This means that stands with a large component of highly preferred species, such as oaks, are likely to be defoliated.

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Last Modified: August 17, 2015