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Flighted Spongy Moth Complex

Scientific Name

Lymantria dispar asiatica Vnukovskij, Lymantria dispar japonica (Motschulsky), Lymantria albescens Hori and Umeno, Lymantria umbrosa (Butler), and Lymantria postalba Inoue (APHIS 2015)

Common Name

Flighted Spongy Moth Complex (FSMC); formerly known as Asian gypsy moth (AGM) (APHIS 2022)

Native To

L. asiatica is native to temperate Asia east of the Ural Mountains; L. d. japonica, L. albescens, L. umbrosa, and L. postalba are native to Japan (Pogue and Schaefer 2007)

Date of U.S. Introduction

First discovered in the Pacific Northwest in the 1991 (APHIS 2015)

Means of Introduction

From infested cargo in ships (APHIS 2015)

Impact

Eradicated in North Carolina and Washington. It is a voracious pest of trees that poses a major threat to forest habitats in North America. (APHIS 2015)

Current U.S. Distribution

Not currently established

Spotlights

  • APHIS Announces New Common Names for Regulated Lymantria Moths

    • Dec 14, 2022
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is replacing the common name for regulated Lymantria moths. APHIS will replace "gypsy moth" (Lymantria dispar) with "spongy moth" and "Asian gypsy moth" (L. dispar asiatica, L. dispar japonica, L. albescens, L. postalba, and L. umbrosa) with "flighted spongy moth complex." This change aligns APHIS with the Entomological Society of America’s "Better Common Names Project" and the scientific community. Spongy moths are significant invasive forest pests. They can defoliate hundreds of species of trees and shrubs and harm our country’s natural resources.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Federally Regulated

  • Hungry Pests - Pest Tracker

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • See what states have a federal quarantine for any of the targeted Hungry Pests, and identify which pests or diseases are at greatest risk due to a suitable habitat. In addition to federal quarantines, state-level quarantines might apply see State Summaries of Plant Protection Laws and Regulations (National Plant Board).

      See also: The Threat for an overview of the top invasive pest threats; indicates places with Federal Quarantines in place.

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
  • Fact Sheet: Gypsy Moth [PDF, 983 KB]

    • Dec 2016
    • Alberta Invasive Species Council (Canada).

    • See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Partnership
Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government
Academic
Citations