Browntail Moth, Euproctis shrysorrhoea

Scientific Name: Euproctis shrysorrhoea
Common Name(s): Brown Tailed Moth

INVASIVE to MAINE                      Final Edit and Fact Checks Needed.

Research Summary
: David L.
My invasive species was difficult to research because there were not a lot of resources on this topic. This species is only found right now in Massachusetts, Maine and maritime Canada. One of the things that is interesting about the brown tailed moth is that the small hairs on the caterpillar, when in contact with human skin, will give you a wicked sting and rash.

Identifying Characteristics

  • A white moth with a brown tuft at the end of the abdomen.
  • Between 7 mm and 58 mm in length depending on age.
  • 2 distinct orange/red dots on caterpillars back toward the tail.
  • Dark brown with white line down each side.
  • Have 2 million spiked or barbed hairs.
  • Larva is  about eleven and a half ??? long.




Taxonomy of Species
   Scientific Classification
 What That Classification Means
 Kingdom  Animalia  Eukaryotic, many-celled, move, members eat plants or other animals.
 Phylum  Arthropoda  Arthropoda bilaterally [two sides] symmetrical segmented animals with
 paired and usually jointed appendages,on some or all of the body.
 Class  Hexapod  Hexapods that have bodies divided into an anterior head, thorax and
 posterior abdomen.
 Order  Lepidoptera  Lepidoptera refers to the flattened hairs (scales that cover the body and
 wings of most adults.
 Family  Lymantridae  Lymantridaes is the tussock (clump of hairs) moths family of insects of
 the order.
 Genus  Euproctis  Moths.
 Species  Chrysorrhoea  Brown tailed moth.

Similar species include:

Location and Movement
Origin/ Native Range
 The brown tailed moth came from Europe.
 It was introduced into Sommerville, MA in 1897.
Spread of Species  It spread because of no predators so it spread rapidly.
Where is it now invasive?  It is invasive in New England and New Brunswick. It can be found in Casco Bay. Also lives in Europe.

Is it in Maine?
Where has it been identified?
 Topsham, Bath, West Bath, Brunswick and Bowdoinham.
How was this species introduced?
 It came to Maine in the 1900s.

Natural Environment
  • Woodland places. Hardwood, apple, cherry shrubs. Spreads rapidly in to habitats that are climatically and ecologically distinct from there of coastal areas the more suitable trees more groth??  Use of own words?
Climate and Temperature Range
 -12 to -18 degrees will kill the larva. -20 to -25 will also kill the egg. Fahrenheit? Celsius?

Ecological Interactions  Herbivore
 As larva it eats hardwood and shrubs. The caterpillers eat blackberry and hawthorn ,
 Consumed By
 The black billed cuckoo

 Ecological  As larva ( first stage) it feeds on foliage hardwood and shrubs including apple , cherry and beech plum trees.
 Human  The hairs can cause a blistery oozy rash or respiratory distress for human beings who come into
 contact with them.
 Economic People that get the rash could loose money from the brown tailed moth.

  • The black billed cuckoo bird.Alberta and Montana and south to northern Texas. 
  • NPV virus is the most deadly disease that will kill the moth and NPV stands for Net Present value.
 Mechanical/ManualClipping and destroying webs by burning or soaking in water with detergent and do this in the September to March.
 Cultural  Maine forest service
  • Pyrethrin is recommended by local tree experts.
  • Dimilin spray only as last resort-is harmful to lobsters and other shell fish.

Interesting Facts