Gypsy Moth Caterpillars and pupa, Cedar Point County Park, (Long Island) NY
The park is suffering from a massive gypsy moth infestation. Many trees were partially defoliated by these buggers. They invaded our campsite as well by crawling under the edge of the screen-in tent and crawling on our chairs, tables, cooler, you name it. We had to look before grabbing anything or sitting down or *squish*. Not fun. They also seem to have irritating bristly hairs, especially the larger caterpillars, which got both of us (my husband and I) in the hands as we removed offending crawlies from our belongings. I never really realized that they had such variation in color. I took a photo of a small gathering of caterpillars on a tree trunk. They are rather pretty though not great to have around. One also decided to pupate on our flag that was hanging off the tent side. The pupa had to be evicted but I was able to snap a couple of pictures of it including the size comparison one included in this email. I hope these are helpful for your site.
p.s. Despite all of this we had a nice camping trip.
Thank you for the partial metamorphosis documentation of the introduced, invasive Gypsy Moth, Lymantria dispar. It is a pest species throughout much of the northeast, but it has recently become established in the pacific northwest. Readers can view more images on BugGuide. We see that you sent us numerous submissions, and we will try to post what will be of most interest or assistance to our readership.
(07/15/2008) Gypsy moth addition from Cedar Point County Park, Long Island, NY
It turns out we had a stow away after all. I found this male Gypsy moth hanging out and waiting for his wings to dry out and stiffen on one of our folding chairs (that happened to come with us on the camping trip). Maybe you can add this to my previous post so you can have photos of three stages of the life cycle of these guys.
We will post this adult male Gypsy Moth on our homepage and add the photo to your previous archived entry. Luckily this male Gypsy Moth won’t be expanding his range. Transportation of insects unknowingly in cars and other vehicles is one of the surest ways to expan any insects range, but this is most critical with invasive exotics like the Gypsy Moth.