Spongy moths

gypsy moth

Photo: John H Ghent, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

  • Spongy moths (Lymantria dispar asiatica and L. dispar dispar)
  • Also rosy (or pink) gypsy moth (L. mathura)
  • Very wide host range, with over 650 known hosts
  • Egg masses laid on solid surfaces and covered in light tan fuzz
  • Mature caterpillars are large (50-65 mm long) and hairy with two rows of spots (red and blue) along their back
  • Moths have greyish-brown wings (30-40 mm wingspan) in males or white with grey markings (40-70 mm) in females
  • Causes heavy defoliation and larvae may produce webbing
  • Can spread large distances naturally or with infested plant material

High priority pest of: Apples and pears, Berries, Plantation forestry, Production nurseries, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Pistachios, Summerfruit, Walnuts

Scientific name: Lymantria dispar and Lymantria mathura
EPPRD Category:
Life Form: Butterflies & moths (LEPIDOPTERA)

Pest Documents

FS: fact sheet

CP: contingency plan

DP: diagnostic protocol