This swallowtail is the largest butterfly in our state. In Florida, the larvae are a pest in citrus orchards, but here in Missouri, they feed primarily on prickly ash and hop tree, plants provided by nature.
Accidentally introduced to the eastern United States from Europe, this species has been responsible for millions of dollars in damages to forests. You can help specialists to protect our forests by learning how to recognize the gypsy moth and its larvae and reporting any occurrences you find.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.