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Spotted Lanternfly

Image Credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

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Common Name: Spotted Lanternfly (SLF)
Scientific Name: Lycorma delicatula
Origin: Asia


Spotted Lanternfly is a large insect, about an inch long and has long pink-grey wings with black spots. Eggs begin hatching in June, with adults active until about October. Young SLF – also known as nymphs – have no wings and are brightly colored, ranging from black with white spots to bright red with white spots.


SLF is capable of living within a wide range of environments, from forests to farm fields to even cities. Expect to find this insect wherever its preferred host tree is as well, the tree of heaven.


Has been known to feed on as many as 70 different plant species, including plants that are important to the economy of the Finger Lakes such as grapes, apple trees, and hops. The potential impact of SLF on our agriculture is devastating, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. SLF also feeds on many of our native tree species, such as maples and walnuts.


Preventing the spread of SLF is key. Checking for signs of egg masses on trees and on motor vehicles is one of the best ways to prevent this pest from spreading out of control and moving into new areas. If already established, pesticides can be used, but always ensure to use the correct pesticide at the correct amount.


Egg masses can be laid anywhere, but places of concern include tree bark and on tires. When feeding, SLF will leave behind a clear, sticky substance known as honeydew at the base of the tree. Dark black streaks on the tree bark is another sign of SLF. An important indicator may also be the health of your trees. Take a look at your trees to see if there is any decline in foliage or overall health.