Invasive SpeciesGypsy moth

Lymantria dispar
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by 7HW2
Peer reviewed by
Field Notes
Just as I was about to set off on an early morning bike ride I noticed a little fuzzy caterpillar crossing the road. Thinking it a tent caterpillar I road closer to view its brilliant color. Upon closer inspection I quickly identified this as a gypsy moth caterpillar. I recognized it from a vital signs I.D card. Scooping it up I rushed home. I took a few hurried photos with a cell phone camera. I apologize for the poor quality of the photos. I hope you trust my judgement enough to believe I know what I saw.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
The long black fuzz/hair that coats its body.
Photo of my evidence.
The size. The grey of the "skin".
Photo of my evidence.
The red and blue dots lined up on its back.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Lymantria dispar
Common name:
Gypsy moth
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.696750 °
W -70.780450 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Forest
Trip Information
gypsy moth caterpillar
Trip date: 
Fri, 2011-07-01 12:16
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey


Great work, 7hw2! I knew you would continue looking closely at nature around you. You know I would never question your id of insects. (7hw2 is our resident bug expert at Massabesic. The class (and I) often referred to 7hw2 for an answer to a bug question.) Confirmed so quickly. Impressive submission.

I know, I know...I still haven't submitted your work yet on our campus Galerucella update. I'll get right on this, 7hw2. Sorry for the delay. Hope you are having a great summer so far. Keep that camera, net and magnifying glass handy (and of course, that bike helmet).

Thanks, Data Trooper for the wake up call.

I think the whole VS community needs to keep checking out 7hw2's submissions for more cool pictures. Wait until you see the picture of Galerucella taken on our campus. You will be amazed.

Thank you for the nice comment pparent.
I have a surprise for you the next time I see you on campus. I'll give you a hint: I looks just like the one that hangs over your science room doorway!

I was surprised when I found this caterpillar. I had never seen one in person before!

This is a gypsy moth caterpillar. I have had more reports then usual this year of caterpillars but no significant defoliation. We may see more leaf chewing next year as the population expands.

I don't know anything about caterpillars, but I do know that this is an awesome observation and some pretty great photos for a phone. Your third photo is especially cool - a glimpse of the scientist's desk!

Good work, bicycling scientist!