Toxic oak moth threatens UK trees after failure to control its spread

Environment



12 October 2021

By Gary Hartley

The Oak Processionary (Thaumetopoea processionea) caterpillars

The Oak Processionary (Thaumetopoea processionea) caterpillars on the move on a tree in spring in the Netherlands

dennisvdw/Getty Images

The oak processionary moth (OPM), an invasive species in northern Europe with caterpillars that are toxic to humans and other animals, expanded its range at an increased speed in the years following its arrival in the UK, despite government efforts to contain it.

Yevhen Suprunenko at the University of Cambridge and his colleagues looked at data on larval nests of the OPM (Thaumetopoea processionea) across south-east England to model a 13-year shift in …

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