browntail moth

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browntail moth

browntail moth, common name for a moth, Nygmia phaeorrhoea, of the tussock moth family. It is a serious pest of forest and shade trees, especially oak. It was introduced from Europe about the same time as the related gypsy moth in the late 19th cent. Browntail moth adults are white, with a tuft of brownish hairs at the tip of the abdomen; the abdomen of the male is rust colored. The female, with a wingspread of 11-2 in. (3.8 cm) is slightly larger than the male. The dark, red- and white-mottled larvae, or caterpillars, may completely defoliate trees. They have nettling hairs that cause a skin rash if touched. Young larvae overwinter in small clumps of leaves fastened together with silk, emerging in early spring. In early summer they pupate in a cocoon in the soil, and the nocturnal adult emerges in about three weeks. An introduced fungus has helped keep this pest in check, and it has not spread in North America beyond New England. However, it is still a serious pest in parts of Eurasia. Good pruning of overwintering leaf nests and spraying are important control measures. The browntail moth is classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Lepidoptera, family Liparidae.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Bleumink, "Investigative studies of the dermatitis caused by the larva of the brown-tail moth, Euproctis chrysorrhoea L.
Although occasionally found on oak trees, brown-tail moth larvae are much more common on hedgerow trees such as blackthorn and hawthorn or on scrubby plants, especially bramble.
"We have known for some time that a carnivore lives in the Lac Alaotra marshes, but we've always assumed it was a brown-tailed vontsira that is also found in the eastern rainforests," the Daily Mail quoted Fidimalala Bruno Ralainsasolo, a conservation biologist working with Durrell who originally captured the new carnivore in the lake, as saying.