Living With Gazalina

Gazalina transversa Image: Frederic Moore

Gazalina transversa

Adult female moths in the genus Gazalina produce urticating hairs that can have profound human health effects. These tussock moths in the family Notodontidae are found in South Asia including India, Nepal and China. Populations increase during the monsoon season in September to early October. The moths are attracted to lights where they can come in contact with people.

Urticating hairs from the female moths can dislodge, come in contact with the eyes and can cause blindness. In 1978, an outbreak of endophthalmitis in Pokhara, Nepal resulted in 13 cases of blindness in one eye. The blindness is the result of acute inflammation of the eye caused by the urticating hairs. Steroids that suppress inflammation can have a therapeutic effect and prevent blindness. Gazalina spp. moths are best avoided and should be handled with caution.

E. Shrestha. A profile and treatment outcome of seasonal hyper-acute panuveitis. Nep J Oph 2010;2(3):35-38

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Health. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With Gazalina

  1. Pingback: Living With Gazalina – Entomo Planet

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