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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

Erebidae
990475.0019475Lymantria mathura – Rosy Gypsy Moth – Moore, 1865
Distribution Data for Lymantria mathura
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Distribution: Eastern Asia, from India to Russia, including Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Nepal, and Sri Lanka (1,2).
Seasonality
and Size:
Univoltine or bivoltine in Asia; first generation occurring between April and October (1). Larvae present from early June to late September.
Wing span 35-50 mm in male, 75-95 mm in female (4).
Larva and
Host Plants:
Larvae are polyphagous, feeding on many different deciduous hardwoods including representatives of Betulaceae (birch), Fagaceae (oak), Rosaceae (apple, peaches, and plum) and others (2).
Larvae 42-45 mm in length (2) with 3 color forms: grey white, blackish brown, and an intermediate in color (1,4). Larvae with long pencil-like hair tufts on head (usually two) and usually four or more at end of abdomen (1,3). Head lacking coronal stripes, which run parallel to the ecdysial line in other Lymantria (2).
Description/
Field Marks:
Male forewings gray with black markings, basal area with yellow spot. Abdomen yellow with dorsal line of black. Female forewings white with dark gray markings and light pink fringe along outer margins. Hindwing pink with single row of dark gray spots between veins on outer margin. Basal 2/3 of abdomen pink, apex white. Abdomen with line of black spots along dorsum.
Similar Species: L. mathura is most similar to L. flavida, but differences include (2):
- Male L. mathura forewing pointed, L. flavida forewing rounded.
- L. mathura wing veins and hindwing fringe white, yellow in L. flavida
- Female L. mathura forewing with narrow V-shaped reniform spot at distal end of discal cell; L. flavida with much wider reniform spot
- L. mathura abdomen with pink extending approximately 2/3 the length; extending about half the abdominal length in L. flavida.
References
  • (1) Molet, T. 2012. CPHST pest datasheet for Lymantria mathura. USDA-APHS-PPQ-CPHST. [pdf]
  • (2) Pogue, M.G., and Schaefer, P.W. (2007). A review of selected species of Lymantria Hubner [1819] including three new species (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Lymantriinae) from subtropical and temperate regions of Asia, some potentially invasive to North America. Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.
  • (3) Roonwal, M.L. (1979). Field-ecological studies on mass eruption, seasonal life-history, nocturnal feeding and activity rhythm, and protective behavior and coloration in the sal defoliator, Lymantria mathura (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), in sub-Himalayan forests. Records of the Zoological Survey of India 75: 209-236.
  • (4) Species Page at BOLD Barcoding Project - website.
Data compiled and contributed by Christi Jaeger, MEM from references cited.

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