Orgyia thyellina

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Orgyia thyellina
Orgyia thyellina female dorsal.jpg
Female, dorsal view
Orgyia thyellina male dorsal.jpg
Male, dorsal view
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lymantriidae
Genus: Orgyia
Species: O. thyellina
Binomial name
Orgyia thyellina
Butler, 1881

The White-Spotted Tussock Moth (Orgyia thyellina) is a species of moth of the Lymantriidae family. It is native to the Russian Far East, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. It was discovered in Auckland, New Zealand in 1996. Operation Ever Green was established that same year to eradicate the pest. By 1998 the species was eradicated. It is thought of as one of the most successful eradication programmes ever undertaken in an urban area.[1]

The wingspan is 21–29 mm for males and 30–42 mm for females of the first two generations.[2] The first two generations produce winged female moths. The last generation of females is flightless. Male adults are usually grey to black with one white spot on each wing. Females are generally creamy white with a dark spot on the wings.

The larvae mainly feed on Rosaceae species, including mulberry Morus, Pyrus, Prunus avium, Prunus domestica and Malus. Other recorded foodplants include Rosa, Prunus persica, Salix, Betula, Quercus, Acer negundo, Wisteria, Kennedia, Clianthus puniceus and Citrus x paradisi. They are blackish and strongly setose, with a red line along each side and four tufts of pale hairs along the back. The male larvae have five instars while female larvae have six.[3]