Lymantriidae

The tussock moths have a wing span of 15-55 mm, and the thorax and abdomen are covered with long piliform scales. Females have specialized hairs on the abdomen that are attached to and cover their egg masses. Caterpillars are usually covered with dense and often secondary setae arranged on tubercles, frequently with dense dorsal tufts of setae. Caterpillars feed chiefly on trees, and the tussock, gypsy, and browntail moths are serious pests of forest and shade trees. The hairs of the caterpillars ofsome species often cause an irritating rash on human skin.

Australian browntail moth, Euproctis edwardsii Adult wing span is about 36 mm, and the wings are uniformly yellowish white. The thorax is dark yellow and the abdomen is dark brown, but dark yellow at the tip. This species occurs in Australia, and it is widespread from southern Queensland to southeastern South Australia. Caterpillars feed at night on mistletoes (Amyema) growing on Eucalyptus, and retreat during the day. Pupae are formed under loose bark on the trunk of the host tree. When populations are large, caterpillars move from the trees and pupate in other locations, including sites around the outside and inside of houses. Human contact with live caterpillars or with castskins or cocoons canresultin severe skin irritation and rashes. In susceptible people, wind-blown hairs can be sufficient to produce intense reactions.

Browntail moth, Euproctis chrysorrhoea Adults are 2838 mm long, and the wings and thorax are white. The abdomen is brown with an apical tuft. Caterpillars feed on apple, cherry, oak, maple, and a variety of other trees. This species is distributed in northeastern USA.

Japanese browntail moth, Euproctis pseudoconspersa Adult wing span is 13-18 mm, and the body is yellowish brown. The frontwings have black spots on the anterior edge. Full-grown caterpillars are about 25 mm long; the head is yellowish brown and the body is pale brown. The body has blackish-brown and yellowish-brown protrusions that have urticating setae. Contact dermatitis frequently occurs as a result of exposure to the adults and caterpillars. There are two generations per year, but human exposure and skin irritations usually occur in summer and fall. This species often infests and is brought indoors on camellia plants. It is distributed in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and China. A related species, E. subflava, occurs in Japan and also causes skin dermatitis.

Euproctis stenomorpha Adult wing span is about 32 mm. Front wings are patterned, with the apical edge with a pale border, and a large and small pale spot. Caterpillars of this species feed on Eucalyptus tetardonta, and they have caused skin irritations on schoolchildren in Darwin, Australia.

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