Other Common Names
In Europe called Brown-tail Moth; I (TT) have followed Covell's spelling: Browntail Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Euproctis chrysorrhoea (Linnaeus, 1758)
Europe; once introduced throughout the New England states, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia; now only found on Cape Cod, MA, and a few islands off the Maine coast in Casco Bay
Caterpillars feed on 26 genera of trees and shrubs belonging to 13 different families (Wikipedia). A major pest of hardwood forests.
Non-native, from Europe.
"The browntail moth was accidentally introduced into Somerville, Massachusetts from Europe in 1897. By 1913, the insect had spread to all of the New England states and New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Since that time, populations of this pest slowly decreased due to natural controls until the 1960's, when browntail moth was limited to Cape Cod and a few islands off the Maine coast in Casco Bay" - Maine.gov
CAUTION: The caterpillar's hairs are extremely dangerous. They break off as barbs and upon contact with skin can cause rashes, skin irritation, headaches and breathing difficulties.