A.K.A The Gypsy Moth (Lymantria Dispar)
Identifying characteristics & role in food chain
When a gypsy moth is a caterpillar they have bumps along their back with black hair and have blue and red coloured spots on them. When they reach the adult stage in their life cycle, males become grayish brown and can fly, while females are larger, whitish with black marks and cannot fly. Gypsy moths are usually only seen in mid-summer. Gypsy moths are herbivores (primary consumers) and they only eat the leaves of trees and shrubs.
This is a gypsy moth when it is larva.
This is a gypsy moth when it is an adult.
Map of origin & current distribution
The gypsy moth originates from Asia and Europe (shown in green).
The blue is where the gypsy moth is now located in North America. It was brought there in 1869 and now resides in northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.
The gypsy moth is a problem because when they are caterpillars they defoliate many trees over a large area. The gypsy moth is an invasive specie because it is not native to Canada and they negatively effect our forests. The harm it causes to food chains is that if other animals need to eat the leaves off of trees they wouldn't be able to because the gypsy moths are eating all of it. Also if animals live in the trees that are now dying because the gypsy moth has eaten all of its leaves they have nowhere to live.
Accomplices & Reward
Humans helped the gypsy moth invade because it was brought to North America by a human that wanted to breed hybrid silkworms and establish a silk industry. If the specie was eliminated the benefit would be that less of our trees are being eaten and that it can't spread anywhere else.