Posts Tagged ‘SLF’

Spotted Lanternfly Discovered in New York State

Posted on: September 20th, 2018 by Brent Gotsch
Spotted Lanternfly is an emerging invasive species to our region. Photo:  USDA

Spot­ted Lantern­fly is an emerg­ing inva­sive species to our region. Photo: USDA

 

Recently, the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (NYSDEC) and the NYS Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Mar­kets (NYSDAM) announced that Spot­ted Lantern­fly (Lycorma del­i­cat­ula) was dis­cov­ered in Albany and Yates coun­ties. So far only two sin­gle adult insects have been dis­cov­ered but the con­cern is that there could be more. First dis­cov­ered in Penn­syl­va­nia in 2014 Spot­ted Lantern­fly (SLF) has since been found in New Jer­sey, Delaware, Vir­ginia, and now New York.

SLF is an inva­sive species that is native to Asia, specif­i­cally parts of China, India, and Viet­nam. With no native preda­tors to keep its pop­u­la­tion in check, there is con­cern that SLF could have a sig­nif­i­cant impact on our native forests. Although their pri­mary source of food is the Tree of Heaven (Alianthus altissima), an inva­sive species itself which con­trary to pop­u­lar belief grows in more than just Brook­lyn, it has been known to feed on a wide vari­ety of plants includ­ing grapevine, hops, wal­nut and sev­eral types of fruit trees. This has the poten­tial to impact sev­eral multi-billion dol­lar indus­tries includ­ing grape and hop pro­duc­tion, the fruit grow­ers and log­ging. Sev­eral ripar­ian species are also at risk includ­ing maples, oaks, pines, poplars, sycamores, and wil­lows. This, cou­pled with the die-off of hem­locks and ash trees caused by Hem­lock Wooly Adel­gid and Emer­ald Ash Borer, respec­tively, could have severe con­se­quences for ripar­ian cor­ri­dor ecosys­tem health and stability.

 

Spotted Lanternfly egg masses. Photo:  USDA

Spot­ted Lantern­fly egg masses. Photo: USDA

 

SLF lay their eggs between the months of Sep­tem­ber and Decem­ber. Newly laid egg masses have a grey mud-like cov­er­ing that can take on a dry cracked appear­ance over time. Old egg masses appear as rows of 30–50 brown­ish seed-like deposits in 4–7 columns on the trunk that are roughly an inch long. Eggs hatch between the months of May and June. SLF nymphs emerge and are black with bright white spots. At this stage they are roughly the size of a pen­cil eraser. Over the next sev­eral months they grow larger but main­tain their col­ors until between the months of July and Sep­tem­ber where they turn bright red with dis­tinct patches of black and bright white spots. From July through Decem­ber SLF matures into an adult that has wings that are about 1-inch-long that are grey with black spots. When the wings are opened it reveals a red underwing.

Spotted Lanternfly early stage nymphs (black) and late state nymphs (red). Photo:  USDA

Spot­ted Lantern­fly early stage nymphs (black) and late state nymphs (red). Photo: USDA

 

SLF feeds by using it mouth­parts to pierce and then suck the sap from the trunks, branches, twigs and leaves. This cre­ates a weep­ing wound of sap. As it digests the sap, SLF secretes a sub­stance known as hon­ey­dew. This com­bined with the flow­ing sap tends to col­lect at the base of the trunk and pro­vides a fer­tile area for the growth of fungi and mold that may stunt plant growth or even cause pre­ma­ture death. It may also attract bees, wasps, ants and other insects to the site, fur­ther stress­ing the plant.

If you think you have SLF on your prop­erty please take a pho­to­graph of either the nymph, adult insect, egg mass, or infes­ta­tion sign along with an item for scale (such as coin or ruler) and email them to spottedlanternfly@dec.ny.gov. Be sure to note the loca­tion includ­ing address, inter­sect­ing road, land­marks or GPS coor­di­nates. Also report the infes­ta­tion to iMap­In­va­sives.

For more infor­ma­tion on SLF be sure to visit the NYSDEC Web­site on SLF as well as web­sites devoted to SLF on the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Penn State Exten­sion websites.

Adult Spotted Lanternfly. Photo:  USDA

Adult Spot­ted Lantern­fly. Photo: USDA

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