Saturday, February 25, 2006

Weekend Photoblogging

bug of the day
Originally uploaded by urtica.

There are a lot of trees in my yard, and as a consequence we see our fair share of leaf-munching caterpillars in the fall and spring. This is an adult gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) I scared up out of a nook in one of our oak trees (Quercus sp.). Luckily it was not a "boom" year for its caterpillars, who can accomplish massive tree defoliation when their populations are high.

Our house is located less than 25 miles from the site of the original introduction of the gypsy moth back in the mid-1800s: Somerville, MA.

Update 02/28/2006: Bad news for Texas: An Asian gypsy moth was recently discovered in a trap in central Texas, according to this alert from the NAPPO. This is the first record of the species in that state. Read more from the American-Statesman.

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