Eurasian Nun Moth

eurasian nun moth
Lymantria monacha
Last updated by:

Faith Campbell

The Eurasian nun moth is in the same genus (Lymantria) as the European gypsy moth and the Asian gypsy moth, and is similar in host utilization and behavior. The host range is wide, consisting of conifer and hardwood species. Eurasian nun moths cause more damage in continental Europe than any other forest defoliator, including the gypsy moths. The Siberian risk assessment (USDA Forest Service, 1991) stated that if the Eurasian nun moth would become established, 172 million acres could be affected in the United States. Entry potential is considered to be high, as Eurasian nun moth females can lay egg masses in crevasses ranging from pallets to ship structures. Extensive research has been conducted on detection and biological control of this potential pest if it is introduced into North America (Morewood et al., 2000; Gries et al., 2001; Fuester et al., 2001).


Fuester, R. W., M. Kenis, K. S. Swan, P. C. Kingsley, C. Lopez-Vaamonde, and F. Herard. 2001. Host range of Aphantorhaphopsis samarensis (Dipetera: Tachinidae), a larval parasite of the gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). Environ. Entomol. 30: 605-611.

Gries, G., P. W. Schaefer, R. Gries, J. Liska, and T. Gotoh. 2001. Reproductive character displacement in Lymantria monacha from northern Japan. J. Chem.. Ecol. 27: 1163-1176.

Morewood, P., G. Gries, J. Liska, P. Kapitola, D. Haussler, K. Moller, and H. Bogenschutz. 2000. Towards pheromone-based montioring of nun moth, Lymantria monacha (L.) (Lep., Lymantriidae) populations. J. Appl. Entomol. 124: 77-85.

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. 1991. Pest Risk Assessment of the Importation of Larch from Siberia and the Soviet Far East, Miscellaneous Publication No. 1495, September, 1991.