Another Invasive Species in PA

Spotted Lanternfly Could Hurt Wine, Logging Industries

On Sept. 22, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, confirmed the presence the Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) in Berks County, as part of its responsibility to identify plants/weeds, insects and mites, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and viruses that impact Pennsylvania’s natural resources, flora and economy.

On Nov. 1, 2014, the Commonwealth announced a quarantine with the intent to restrict the movement of this pest. This is the first detection of Spotted Lanternfly in the United States. The Spotted Lanternfly is a planthopper from Asia, specifically found in China, Korea, India, Vietnam, and parts of eastern Asia. It is an invasive insect in Korea where it was introduced in 2006 and since has attacked 25 plant species which also grow in Pennsylvania.. In the U.S. it has the potential to greatly impact the grape, fruit tree and logging industries. This pest attacks many hosts including grapes, apples, pines, stone fruits and more than 70 additional species. Early detection is vital to the effective control of this pest and the protection of PA businesses and agriculture.

Beginning in late April to early May nymphs will hatch from egg masses laid on smooth bark, stone, and other vertical surfaces. Nymphs will complete four immature stages. The first stage is black with white spots and wingless. As it grows, the Spotted Lanternfly will start to develop red patches in addition to the white spots. Nymphs spread from the initial site by crawling and feeding on woody and non-woody plants.

Adults can be seen as early as July and take on a much different appearance. Adults at rest have a black head and grayish wings with black spots. The tips of the wings are a combination of black rectangular blocks with grey outlines. When startled or flying the Spotted Lanternfly will display hind wings that are red and black blocks with a white stripe dividing them. The red portion of the wing is also adorned with black spots. The abdomen is also a yellowish white with bands of black on the top and bottom. While a poor flyer, the Spotted Lanternfly is a strong jumper.

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