A Picture of a Gypsy Moth

Gypsy Moth Facts

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Erebidae
  • Genus: Lymantria
  • Species: Lymantria dispar

10 Gypsy Moth Facts for Kids

  1. The gypsy moth is a that is a member of the genus Lymantria.
  2. The binomial name for the gypsy moth is Lymantria dispar.
  3. The gypsy moth was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.
  4. The gypsy moth has many subspecies and a few of those are European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar), Asian gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar asiatica) and the Japanese gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar japonica).
  5. The gypsy moth has few natural predators and that means their populations aren’t kept under control.
  6. Gypsy moth larva are considered pests. They will aggressively feed and defoliate trees, which can kill a tree.
  7. A gypsy moth caterpillar (larva) eats up to one square foot of leaves per day.
  8. Gypsy moth larvae have such a ferocious appetite that in 2001 alone they ate 84.9 million acres of foliage.
  9. In 2014, the gypsy moth was listed as one of the 100 most invasive species in the Global Invasive Species Database.
  10. The gypsy moth was introduced to the United States on accident in 1869, by French entomologist Leopold Trouvelet. He was experimenting with silk production, but some of his specimens escaped and over a 20-year period established a successful population.

Additional Resources with Gypsy Moth Facts