2034 Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar
(Linnaeus, 1758)Wingspan 32-55 mm.
In the early part of the 19th century, this was a common species in the East Anglian and southern fens, but by about 1900 had become extinct as a breeding species.
Migrant males continue to appear occasionally on the south coast, with perhaps one or two per year on average.
The whitish, cumbersome females are much larger than the males, and cannot fly well.
Since 1995 the species has been resident in small numbers in parts of London, where it has been subject to an eradication campaign led by Defra (Department for Environment, Health and Rural Affairs) due to its potential pest status. Any suspected sightings should be reported to your local Defra office.
Abroad, the species is a common pest of deciduous trees.