Posts Tagged ‘spotted lanternfly’

Spotted Lanternfly Discovered in New York State

Posted on: September 20th, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker
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 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