Main: (Erebidae / Lymantriinae)
72.011 [B&F: 2034] Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) (Linnaeus, 1758)


Notes: IFormerly frequent in the fens of East Anglia, this moth was presumed extinct in Britain in the early 1900s when breeding sites were cleared and drained. Occasional records, mainly from coastal southern England, since then have been regarded as immigrants. However, in the 21st century it has become temporarily established in a very few areas, these all thought to be accidental introductions by the horticultural trade. In Hampshire there has been a pattern of increased occurrence in the 21st Century, possibly related to radiation from the introduced colonies in London, and breeding was first evidenced in 2019 when larval webs were discovered in Basingstoke. It is also probably resident in the Portsmouth area. Wingspan male 48-53 mm, female 59-65 mm. The male has prominent crescent-shaped black reniform mark and black orbicular spot; the female is superficially similar to female Black Arches - but the latter species is smaller with the female Gypsy Moth having a thickset and blunt abdomen - and cannot fly, rarely travelling far from the cocoon and thus any occurrence in Britain of a female moth is clear evidence of local breeding.
The extinct English race fed on Bog-myrtle (Myrica gale) and Creeping Willow (Salix repens). On mainland Europe occurs in a wide variety of habitats feeding on broadleaved trees and bushes.

Update: Text update and status review, December 2019.

Flightime guide

Records Received By Year

% of total records
Max records: 6
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Percentage of Total Records

Total records
Max Percentage: 0.0043298793
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Phenology - Adult Records

Max records: 4
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Phenology - Larval Records

Max records: 2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Distribution Map

Historical distribution at tetrad resolution
Click for density map

Record Density

As above but the larger the symbol, the greater the number of records
Click for distribution map

Detail records

1-km square SU29011101981Not recorded
1-km square SZ20931101981Not recorded
1-km square SZ60981101951Not recorded
Chandler's Ford11114/07/2008Adult
Byways, St Helens, IoW10023/09/2012Adult
Chale Green10101/09/1993Adult
Chale Green1001955Adult
Godshill (74/92/01)10028/08/1991Adult
Godshill, IoW1001955Adult
Godshill, IoW1001980Adult
Hengistbury Head1110018/05/2007Larval
Hengistbury Head1110002/06/2007Larval
Hengistbury Head11607/2007Adult
Hengistbury Head11012/05/2008Larval
Hengistbury Head11521/05/2008Larval
Hengistbury Head115022/05/2007Larval
Knatchbull Close11117/08/2017Adult
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