Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Zoology question


Hi, many moons ago I was an agricultural zoology student. I am sure I remember being taught about a worm that goes to the top of a tree and spins around shedding its young, with the name that I remember as 'Wipfeltkranheit'. Obviously my spelling will be ridiculous, but do you know of anything similar, that could cover this, or did I have a very strange dream!! Many thanks, Alison


Thank you for choosing me from all the way over in Ireland!

You were close!  The word above refers to what happens when a Gypsy moth caterpillar is infected with a virus.  The infected caterpillar climbs to the highest point of the tree and dies.  All the while, the caterpillar's insides have been completely liquefied by the virus and those contents are almost nothing but virus particles ready to infect other caterpillars.  Once dead, the caterpillar's body disintegrates and the virus particles rain downward into the tree to infect other caterpillars.

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Nathan Riggs


I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at www.facebook.com/groups/antmans.hill/.


22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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