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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