browntail moth

browntail moth

browntail moth, common name for a moth, Nygmia phaeorrhoea, of the tussock moth family. It is a serious pest of forest and shade trees, especially oak. It was introduced from Europe about the same time as the related gypsy moth in the late 19th cent. Browntail moth adults are white, with a tuft of brownish hairs at the tip of the abdomen; the abdomen of the male is rust colored. The female, with a wingspread of 11/2 in. (3.8 cm) is slightly larger than the male. The dark, red- and white-mottled larvae, or caterpillars, may completely defoliate trees. They have nettling hairs that cause a skin rash if touched. Young larvae overwinter in small clumps of leaves fastened together with silk, emerging in early spring. In early summer they pupate in a cocoon in the soil, and the nocturnal adult emerges in about three weeks. An introduced fungus has helped keep this pest in check, and it has not spread in North America beyond New England. However, it is still a serious pest in parts of Eurasia. Good pruning of overwintering leaf nests and spraying are important control measures. The browntail moth is classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Lepidoptera, family Liparidae.

For the genus in Lamiaceae, the mint family, see Nosema (plant).

Nosema is a genus of microsporidian parasites, including

  • Nosema antheraeae parasitising the Chinese oak silkworm Antheraea pernyi
  • Nosema apis parasitising honey bees
  • Nosema birgii parasitising the chrysomelid beetle Mesoplatys cincta
  • Nosema bombi parasitising bumble bees
  • Nosema bombycis causes pébrine in silkworms
  • Nosema carpocapsae parasitising Laspeyresia molesta (a tortricid moth)
  • Nosema ceranae parasitising honey bees
  • Nosema chaetocnemae parasitising the chrysomelid beetle Chaetocnema tibialis
  • Nosema chrysorrhoeae parasitising the browntail moth Euproctis chrysorrhoea (a lymantrid moth)
  • Nosema couilloudi parasitising chrysomelid beetles of genus Nisotra
  • Nosema empoascae parasitising the potato leaf-hopper Empoasca fabae (a cicadellid bug)

*Nosema equestris parasitising the chrysomelid beetles Gastrophysa viridula and Leptinotarsa decemlineata''

  • Nosema fumiferanae parasitising the eastern spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana (a tortricid moth)
  • Nosema furnacalis parasitising the Asian corn-borer Ostrinia furnacalis (a pyralid moth)
  • Nosema galerucellae parasitising the chrysomelid beetle Galerucella luteola
  • Nosema gastroideae parasitising the chrysomelid beetle Gastrophysa polygoni
  • Nosema granulosis parasitising the crustacean Gammarus duebeni
  • Nosema kovacevici
  • Nosema leptinotarsae parasitising the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata (a chrysomelid beetle)
  • Nosema nisotrae parasitising chrysomelid beetles of genus Nisotra
  • Nosema oulemae parasitising the chrysomelid beetle Oulema melanopus
  • Nosema phyllotretae parasitising the chrysomelid beetles Phyllotreta atra and Phyllotreta undulata
  • Nosema polygrammae parasitising the chrysomelid beetle Polygramma undecimlineata
  • Nosema portugal parasitising the gypsy moth Lymantria dispar (a lymantrid moth)
  • Nosema pyrrhocoridis parasitising the red soldier bug Pyrrhocoris apterus (a pyrrhocorid bug)
  • Nosema pyrausta parasitising the European corn-borer Ostrinia nubilalis (a pyralid moth)
  • Nosema serbica parasitising the gypsy moth Lymantria dispar (a lymantrid moth)
  • Nosema spodopterae parasitising the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (a plutellid moth)
  • Nosema trichoplusiae parasitising the cabbage looper/tiger moth Trichoplusia ni (a noctuid moth)
  • Nosema tyriae parasitising the cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaeae (an arctiid moth)
  • Nosema vespula parasitising European wasps

Nosema locustae, which parasitises locusts, and Nosema grylli, which parasitises crickets, have been transferred to Paranosema, or in the former case Antonospora. Nosema algerae, which parasitises anopheline mosquitoes has been transferred to Brachiola. Nosema kingii, which parasitises fruit flies, and Nosema acridophagus, which parasitises grasshoppers, have been transferred to Tubilinosema.

Studies of DNA sequences imply that the boundaries between the genera Nosema and Vairimorpha are incorrectly drawn.

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