Lymantria dispar asiatica

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Asian gypsy moth
Lymantria dispar asiatica male.jpg
Mounted male
Lymantria dispar asiatica Female.jpg
Mounted female
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Erebidae
Subfamily: Lymantriinae
Tribe: Lymantriini
Subtribe: Lymantriina
Genus: Lymantria
Species: Lymantria dispar
Subspecies: L. d. asiatica
Trinomial name
Lymantria dispar asiatica
Vnukovskij, 1926

The Asian gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar asiatica, is a moth in the family Erebidae of Eurasian origin. It is similar to Lymantria dispar dispar in appearance, but adult females are flight-capable. It is classified as a pest and is host to over 500 species of trees, shrubs and plants.

Common names[edit]

Lymantria dispar asiatica has several common names including the Asian Gypsy Moth, Persimmon caterpillar or Persimmon tussock moth.[1]:23


Lymantria dispar asiatica was originally described as a subspecies of Lymantria dispar by Vnukovskij in 1926.[1]:29 It was synonymized with Lymantria dispar dispar by Schintlmeister in 2004.[1]:29 L. d. asiatica is treated as a subspecies of 'L. dispar'.[1]:29

The species has undergone the same reclassification of the family as Lymantria dispar, moving from Lymantriidae to Noctuidae to Erebidae.[2]



Found throughout temperate Asia.[1]:25 Usually east of the Ural Mountains into up into far east of Russia, the most of China and Korea.[1]:25 It is not found south of the Himalayan range in India.[1]:25

North America[edit]

Lymantria dispar asiatica was found in North America in late 1991.[3] It was first found in British Columbia, Canada.[3] It also was found in Washington and Oregon, United States.[3] Transportation was suspected to have been from ships from Russia that had become infested with egg masses, with the eggs having been hatched and the larvae then blown ashore.[3] This infestation was eradicated.[3] It reappeared in Washington in 1997 and was found in Oregon in 2000.[3] It was reported that these infestations were eradicated in 2005.[3]

It was also found in North Carolina in 1997, the transportation having been from shipping cargo containers from Germany.[3] This infestation was eradicated.[3]

Life Cycle[edit]

Lymantria dispar asiatica has four stages of life: egg, larvae, pupae and moth.[3]

Adult Moths[edit]

The adult female moth is dirty- to creamy-white, with dark bands across the forewings.[1]:24 The hindwings are white.[1]:24 The female's body is stout and densely covered with hairs, and the antennae are dark brown and thread-like.[1]:24

The adult male moth is smaller than the female moth, and the wings are dark brown with black bands across the forewings.[1]:24 The hindwings are brown and may possess a crescent-shaped discal spot.[1]:24 Its head's front vertex and scape are light brown. The antennae are light brown and feathery.[1]:24

Adult moths are incapable of eating: the adult only mates and lays eggs.[3] Adult moths will die within one to three weeks after emerging.[3]


Eggs are laid in clusters that are about the size of a dime.[3] The eggs are dormant during the winter.[3] Larvae will hatch from the eggs in the spring.

Egg placement[edit]

In China and Korea, egg masses are placed high up on the under-surfaces of branches of large pine trees.[1]:26 In Russia and Mongolia, eggs are laid on rock outcrops or on the soil under boulders.[1]:24 Egg masses are laid on top of other egg masses or the remains of previous years' egg masses.[1]:24 In far eastern Russia, egg masses are laid on undersides of leaves of deciduous trees.[1]:24 When the leaves fall, the eggs are covered with snow and become insulated from temperatures which would otherwise kill them.[1]:24


Full grown larvae are 50–55 mm long and a ground-color gray, laterally irrorated with an irregular pattern of white.[1]:24 Larvae can also be yellow or black.

When larvae hatch, they disperse by ballooning away.[1]:27 Larvae spin silk threads and hang from them, waiting for the wind to blow them to a suitable host.[1]:27 In central Asia, hatching larvae balloon off the ridges.[1]:27 In Mongolia, dispersal is done by ballooning from rock faces or pine trees.[1]:27 Distances vary from a hundred meters up to a kilometer or more, assuming the conditions are right.[1]:27 In China and Korea and larvae disperse to suitable tree species to feed, but adults fly back to the large pines for oviposition, a cycle which is repeated yearly.[1]:27


Larvae will enter the pupae stage in June or July.[3] Adult moths will emerge from the pupae in ten to fourteen days.[3]

Efforts to prevent spread[edit]


Regulations vary, but it is recommended to obtain inspections for all vessels which are active in far eastern Russia, Japan, Korea, and northern China.[4] All shipping vessels could have egg masses, inside or outside the ship.[4] As of August 2012, ships in the Pacific have had interceptions, while the Atlantic has had none.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Pogue, Michael. "A review of selected species of Lymantria Huber [1819]" (PDF). Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. Retrieved September 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ Zhari; et al. (January 2012). "Molecular phylogenetics of Erebidae (Lepidoptera, Noctuoidea)". Systematic Entomology. 37: 102–124. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3113.2011.00607.x. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Asian Gypsy Moth" (PDF). APHIS. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "LP Briefing - Asian Gypsy Moth - June 2012". Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ "80 ships in Maritimes inspected for invasive moth". Retrieved September 17, 2012.