Cocoon Story — update

mystery solved

Sunday afternoon, July 25, 2021 I heard back from the Butterfly identification team. If only I had taken prompt action at the time. Here is the email:

From: Butterfly Identification Team <>
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2021 3:06 PM
To: Michael Wills <>
Subject: Re: Moth that emerged from cocoon today. Photo attached Hello,
It looks like a female Gypsy Moth and a cocoon for that same species. It is an invasive moth and huge pest, and it is found in your state. This year, northeastern states seem to be experiencing growth in the Gypsy Moth population.
Thank you for sharing your photos with us. The male looks different from the female and the faster it is identified, the better.

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My photographs are now up on the butterfly identification site.

As noted in the first posting, I released the moth. I needed to take swift action last year: identify and remove egg clusters. This spring our legacy oaks, favored by Gypsy moths, were chewed up and the caterpillars, when landing on exposed skin, cause a nasty rash.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

12 thoughts on “Cocoon Story — update

    1. Gypsy moths are diurnal, active when the sun is above the horizon. Light pollution is a serious problem for sea turtles, most communities along beaches were turtles lay eggs have rules against light pollution.

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  1. We have these here in Ontario. I have scrapped their eggs off a spruce tree and put bands of tape with vaseline smeared on them onto our heritage birch trees. So far I am not seeing any damage. Between these and the Japanese beetles it is a mad dash to stay ahead of these pests.

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