The best invasive-species story of recent years – maybe the only good one – has involved gypsy moths, which used to be a real menace in New England, chomping away on trees. They have virtually disappeared in recent years because of biocontrols, including a fungus.
But drought is bad for fungus and gypsy moths returned to southern New England last summer. As the Lawrence Eagle-Tribute reports, things may get worse: “This year’s severe drought has prevented the growth of the moths’ main predator in several states and parts of New Hampshire, a fungus named entomophaga maimaiga, which needs wet, humid weather to spread. The resulting summer of rampant gypsy moths devastated parts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Nathan fears that that environmental damage may come north in the Spring.”