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Identification & Biology
Trees Gypsy Moths Like
How Gypsy Moths Harm Trees
Where Gypsy Moths Are
Gypsy Moth Management
History of Gypsy Moths
Asian vs. European Gypsy Moth
Identification And Biology Of The Gypsy Moth In Indiana

Adults - Late June through early August

Adult Gypsy Moth showing Chevrons and Antenna

Adult male and female gypsy moths both have v-shaped chevrons
on their wings. Note the male's feathery antennae.
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)

  • Both male and female adult moths have distinctive inverted V-shapes (called chevrons) that point to small dots on each wing.

  • Males are brown and smaller than females, with feathery antennae (females have thin antennae).

  • Female moths have creamy white wings with a tan body.

  • The female is unable to fly. Females are about 1-1/2 inches long while males are about 1 inch long. Adults do not feed on leaves and live only 7-10 days.

Gypsy moths in various stages on an eave.
(Vince Burkle, Indiana IDNR

  • Newly emerged adult females release a sex pheromone (a strong scent) that attracts males. Males can detect female pheromones from a mile away.

  • After mating, females begin to lay eggs.

  • Females usually deposit their eggs just a few inches from where they emerged from their pupal stage.

Gypsy moths survive the winter as eggs, protected from the elements in safe, warm egg masses. When spring finally arrives, the eggs hatch and the gypsy moth life cycle begins again.
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