The Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is an abundant species of Europe and the Near East and one of very few Lepidoptera of temperate regions in which the adults are active in the depth of winter.
The female of this species is virtually wingless and cannot fly, but the male is fully winged and flies strongly.
Winter Moths are considered an invasive species in North America; Nova Scotia experienced the first confirmed infestations in the 1930s. The moth is now found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. In Massachusetts, the moths have attracted the attention of several media outlets due to the severity of the infestation. In northern Rhode Island, damage to fruit orchards has been attributed to winter moth, and it is now reported in mid-southern Rhode Island (Bristol/Barrington area and Warwick). Efforts at biological control are underway. There have been unconfirmed reports of infestations in southern New Hampshire.
The geometer moths or Geometridae (from Greek geo γη or γαια 'the earth' and metron μέτρων 'measure' — refers to the larvae, or inchworms, which appear to "measure the earth" as they move in a looping fashion) are a family of the order Lepidoptera. A very large family, it has around 35,000 species of moths described, and over 1,400 species from 6 subclasses indigenous to North America. A well-known member is the Peppered Moth, Biston betularia, which has been subject of numerous studies in population genetics. Several other geometer moths are notorious pests.