Seven acres of poplar and willow trees defoliated by satin moths were recently discovered in the Spooner Lake area.
The Nevada Department of Agriculture and the Nevada Division of Forestry found thousands of moths emerging and laying eggs in the area, and the eggs they found are now hatcing, according to NDA Regional manager Edward Foster. The resulting larvae will skeletonize leaves on aspen and willow trees, then move to the bark and spin a protective covering to overwinter in. The adult moths are all white except for the body which looks like it has black bands. They are about 1 1/2 inches wide at full wing span, he said.
The moths have also appeared in Little Valley, Battle Mountain and Paradise Valley, Nev., in poplars along creeks. Its repeated feeding on poplar foliage can cause top kill or mortality, according to the NDA.
A small population of satin moths was reported in the Lake Tahoe Basin in the 1990s, but never developed into much of a population.