Browntail Moth, common name for a European moth that was introduced into the United States in New England about 1895. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of a wide variety of trees, often causing considerable destruction. They are about 3.8 cm (about 1.5 in) long when fully grown and are covered with white and brown hairs. The brown hairs are barbed and contain a poisonous substance, and are frequently carried by the wind after the caterpillars molt. These hairs can cause human respiratory problems and an irritating skin rash. The adult moth has a wingspread of about 2.5 cm (about 1 in) and is white except for the brown tip of the abdomen.
Scientific classification: The browntail moth belongs to the family Lymantriidae, order Lepidoptera. It is classified as Euproctis chrysorrhoea.