A Pretty Pest
A North American Gypsy Moth caterpillar (Lymantria dispar dispar), also called the European gypsy moth. The gyspy moth was introduced into North America in 1869 from Europe. Professor Étienne Léopold Trouvelot imported the moths to develop a silkworm industry, with the goal of interbreeding gypsy moths with silk worms. The moths were accidentally released from his residence in Medford, Massachusetts.
It is classified as a pest of hardwood trees in the eastern United States, and its larvae consume the leaves of over 300 species of trees, shrubs and plants.
The Gypsy Moth Caterpillar is yet another variety of Tussock Moth Caterpillar found at Distant Hill Gardens. These caterpillars, like all Tussock Moth Caterpillars seem harmless, but touch this species with a bare finger and it will feel like you've been pricked by fiberglass.
For more info about these beautiful caterpillars go to my blog posting at: