Lymantria dispar asiatica
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.
Lymantria dispar asiatica was originally described as a subspecies of Lymantria dispar by Vnukovskij in 1926.:29 It was synonymized with Lymantria dispar dispar by Schintlmeister in 2004.:29 L. d. asiatica is treated as a subspecies of 'L. dispar'.:29
Found throughout temperate Asia.:25 Usually east of the Ural Mountains into up into far east of Russia, the most of China and Korea.:25 It is not found south of the Himalayan range in India.:25
Lymantria dispar asiatica was found in North America in late 1991. It was first found in British Columbia, Canada. It also was found in Washington and Oregon, United States. 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. This infestation was eradicated. It reappeared in Washington in 1997 and was found in Oregon in 2000. It was reported that these infestations were eradicated in 2005.
The adult female moth is dirty- to creamy-white, with dark bands across the forewings.:24 The hindwings are white.:24 The female's body is stout and densely covered with hairs, and the antennae are dark brown and thread-like.:24
The adult male moth is smaller than the female moth, and the wings are dark brown with black bands across the forewings.:24 The hindwings are brown and may possess a crescent-shaped discal spot.:24 Its head's front vertex and scape are light brown. The antennae are light brown and feathery.:24
In China and Korea, egg masses are placed high up on the under-surfaces of branches of large pine trees.:26 In Russia and Mongolia, eggs are laid on rock outcrops or on the soil under boulders.:24 Egg masses are laid on top of other egg masses or the remains of previous years' egg masses.:24 In far eastern Russia, egg masses are laid on undersides of leaves of deciduous trees.:24 When the leaves fall, the eggs are covered with snow and become insulated from temperatures which would otherwise kill them.:24
Full grown larvae are 50–55 mm long and a ground-color gray, laterally irrorated with an irregular pattern of white.:24 Larvae can also be yellow or black.
When larvae hatch, they disperse by ballooning away.:27 Larvae spin silk threads and hang from them, waiting for the wind to blow them to a suitable host.:27 In central Asia, hatching larvae balloon off the ridges.:27 In Mongolia, dispersal is done by ballooning from rock faces or pine trees.:27 Distances vary from a hundred meters up to a kilometer or more, assuming the conditions are right.: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.:27
Efforts to prevent spread
Regulations vary, but it is recommended to obtain inspections for all vessels which are active in far eastern Russia, Japan, Korea, and northern China. All shipping vessels could have egg masses, inside or outside the ship. As of August 2012, ships in the Pacific have had interceptions, while the Atlantic has had none.
- Pogue, Michael. "A review of selected species of Lymantria Huber [1819"]. Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. http://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/technology/pdfs/Pogue_Lymantria_web.pdf. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Zhari et al (January 2012). "Molecular phylogenetics of Erebidae (Lepidoptera, Noctuoidea)". Systematic Entomology. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-3113.2011.00607.x/full. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- "Asian Gypsy Moth". APHIS. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/plant_health/content/printable_version/fs_phasiangm.pdf. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "LP Briefing - Asian Gypsy Moth - June 2012". http://fin.nepia.com/modules/assetlibrary/z_extra/getAsset.php?type=file&id=6274. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "80 ships in Maritimes inspected for invasive moth". http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/08/29/nb-maritime-ships-inspection.html. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
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