Billions and billions of frenzied male winter moths flying into your car, your house, your mouth as they try to shack up with their flightless female counterparts anxiously awaiting them in their tree lairs. And now the imported European moths may be mating with a native moth species. Run away! Our resident invasive-species expert, Jennifer Forman Orth, explains, in somewhat calmer tones:
... The Elkinton Lab at UMass Amherst has found evidence that the introduced moths have been hybridizing with a similar-looking but less common native species, the Bruce spanworm moth (Operophtera bruceata). The lab continues to study this phenomenon and the impact it could have on the native species as well as on efforts to establish a biological control for winter moths in our state.