|Gypsy Moth- Wikimedia|
In the absence of an effective native parasite, more than 45 foreign species have been introduced in a futile and occasionally desperate attempt to control the gypsy moth. One tachinid fly, Compsilura concinnata, was introduced as a known parasitoid of the gypsy moth and other introduced species such as the satin moth and brown-tail moth.
Some of the alternate hosts are garden pests such as the cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni and the imported cabbageworm, Pieris rapae L. Unfortunately, other hosts include swallowtails, Nymphalidae (brushfooted butterflies) and Saturniidae (giant silk moths). Parasitism rates can be as high as 81% in the cecropia moth and 68% in the promethea moth.**
The lesson of all this-
"A Good Parasite is hard to find,
you always get the other kind.
Just when you think he is your pal,
You look for him and find him fooling 'round some other gal"
- with apologies to Eddie Green.
* Missouri Natural Areas Newsletter Vol. 11 No 1 2011
** University of Minnesota