Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More on Gypsy Moth

A holiday in the Bar Harbour area of Maine last week produced these images of mating European Gypsy Moths (Lymantria dispar). This female crawled to a sheltered spot under a board behind a shed at a campground. She pupated (see the image of the dark mass with a shed larval skin beside it), then emerged as a large white adult. The females don't fly, so she moved a short distance away, emitted her pheromones, and attracted a much smaller, brown male. After mating (next image), she deposited her eggs close by (third image). The egg masses can contain an average of 500 eggs.

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