Lymantria dispar L.
Significance: The Asian gypsy moth (AGM) (Lymantria dispar), a voracious pest of more than 500 species of trees and shrubs, was found in an insect trap in central Texas. This is the first record of the moth in Texas. AGM was first identified in North America in 1991 near the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. In the 1990’s, infestations were found in Washington, Oregon, and North Carolina, which were then eradicated through trapping and spraying.
Issues of Concern: Damage from AGM can lead to severe defoliation which weakens the host and increases susceptibility to disease and other insect pests. AGM has a much broader host range than the European gypsy moth and unlike the flightless female European gypsy moths, female AGM are active fliers and allow for quicker infestations and spread. Diligent eradication efforts have kept the AGM from establishing in North America. Officials in TX are working to ensure it does not spread.
Pathways: infested ships/cargo
USDA APHIS Fact Sheet—Asian Gypsy Moth. April 2003. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fsheet_faq_notice/fs_phasiangm.html The Statesman.com. February 8, 2006. Destructive moth prompts push to spray near Oak Hill.http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/02/8moth.html Related Documents: PDF copy of Statesman.com article (Feb 8, 2006) Asian Gypsy Moth in TX.pdf