Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly

Adult Spotted Lanternfly
Photo: Lawrence Barringer

Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is a native of east Asia that in 2006 invaded Korea where it has become an invasive pest. It was detected in Berk County, PA in September 2014. It is of concern because it attacks a variety of crops including grapes, apples and stone fruits. A quarantine has been issued to limit the distribution of this species while the next steps are being planned. Early detection is a key to controlling this new pest.

The preferred overwintering host of the Spotted Lanternfly is Tree of Heaven (Ailanthis), itself an invasive plant species. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture describes the potential damage:

In the spring search for the nymphs on smaller plants and vines. Fruit trees and grapes can be especially susceptible to damage and mortality under larger populations. As the year progresses the Spotted Lanternfly host choice will transition to trees. Trees can be afflicted with weeping wounds of sap on the trunks. Heavy populations can cause honey dew secretions to build up at the base of the tree, blackening the soil around the base. The largest colonies can produce large fungal mats at the base of tree. Increased activity of wasps, hornets, bees, and ants can be seen feeding on honeydew secretions and at tree wounds.

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 by jjneal, Invasive Species, News. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spotted Lanternfly

  1. These kind of pest do require early steps and i appreciate governments concern and effort they are putting to control this.

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