Gypsy moth caterpillar
This is the dreaded gypsy moth caterpillar, Lymantria dispar, which can multiply out of control and strip entire oak trees down to the stick. In some cases, entire forests are deprived of their leaves by hordes of these caterpillars. Walking into a forest under siege from gypsy moth caterpillars, you can actually hear the sound of millions of tiny jaws working away, eating every leaf in site. Attempts have been made to control this caterpillar by spraying entire forests with a kind of bacteria that kills the caterpillars. While this can be effective, the bacteria is known to kill many other species of caterpillars in addition to the gypsy moth. It’s a high price to pay to rescue trees that will likely eventually survive anyway!
''Lymantria dispar'' are moths in the family Erebidae. ''Lymantria dispar'' covers many subspecies, subspecies identification such as ''L. d. dispar'' or ''L. d. japonica'' leaves no ambiguity in identification. ''Lymantria dispar'' subspecies have a range which covers in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and South America.