Do you ever wonder what those weird fuzzy caterpillars are? They are the larvae state of an invasive insect from Eurasia called the Gypsy Moth.
An invasive species is an organism that causes harm to an environment it is not native to. Invasive species are usually introduced by humans accidentally or on purposely introduced but then proved unable to control. An ecosystem might have increased risk of invasion if it has already been weakened by another natural disaster like fire, landslides, or a tornado. Invasive species can cause harm by eating leaves off of trees like the Gypsy Moth. A way to get rid of the Gypsy Moth is to spray harmful pesticides, or introduce Calosoma Sycophanta, a type of European beetle that eats Gypsy Moths. Examples of invasive species include Asian Carp, The Africanized Honey Bee, and Purple Loosestrife.
The Gypsy moth is naturally found in Europe and Asia. The climate there usually warm, and the landscape there is Deciduous. In its natural habitat, the Gypsy Moth is naturally eaten by the Calosoma Sycophanta, the beetle mentioned earlier.
The scientific name for the Gypsy Moth is Limantria Dispar. Its appearance is characterized by its fuzzy outside and 5 pairs of red spots and four pairs of blue as a caterpillar. But when they are adults, the males and the females are different colors; the males are brown, and the females are white. As pupae, the Gypsy moth is a yellow patch on a tree called a cacoon in which the caterpillar is turning into a moth.
The Gypsy Moth was introduced to the U.S.A., where it is not naturally found. The climate in which it was introduced into was deciduous. The Gypsy Moth was introduced into Long Island, New York by a French scientist named Leopold Trouvelot who was breeding them for silk production. They have spread farther into the U.S., the map to the left shows the amount of moths found in traps, the purple and pink being the most and the beige being the least.
In its natural habitat, the Gypsy Moth has a role that functions well. But in the U.S., it causes harm. A way it causes harm is the mass deforestation caused by their need to eat leaves.
Scientists are trying to find ways to get rid of or control the Gypsy Moth in northern U.S. Some ways they are fighting this organisms are harmful pesticides, and introducing a beetle naturally found in Eurasia that eats Gypsy Moths.
Invasive species are found all over the world, in every continent. They don’t cause harm in their natural homes, but as invasive species they can cause harm by killing or spreading diseases to native animals and plants. The Gypsy Moth is an invasive species that is causing harm northern United States. Scientists are trying to control this problem by spreading harmful pesticides; unfortunately, these pesticides are harming the environment in that area. I personally hope that they will use a biodegradable pesticide that only harms the population of the Gypsy Moth. Hopefully they will be successful in eradicating the population of Gypsy Moths.
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