Definition of brown-tail in US English:


(also brown-tail moth)


  • A white European moth that has a brown tip on the abdomen and is a pest of tree foliage in several areas, including North America. The caterpillars live communally in web tents and bear irritant hairs that can produce an allergic reaction.

    Euproctis chrysorrhoea, family Lymantriidae

    • ‘Scientists hope the virus can kill at least 80 percent of the brown-tail moth population in the state.’
    • ‘Gypsy moth caterpillars defoliate trees, bitter-sweet vines strangle native trees, and brown-tail moths pose threats both to trees and human health.’
    • ‘The tachinid fly Compsilura concinnata is a parasitoid of gypsy moth and other imported pests, such as satin moth and brown-tail moth.’
    • ‘These caterpillars of the brown-tail moth are noted for their poisonous hairs, which can cause a rash on contact with skin.’
    • ‘The brown-tail moth is so-called because of its thick dark brown tail tuft of hairs, which is very noticeable on the female.’