They’re Here

Spotted Lanternflies were first reported in the U.S. in Berks Co., PA, in 2014. They have since spread. Last year, there were a few sightings in Brooklyn, the westernmost part of Long Island. I saw my first on Monday near the entrance to Bush Terminal Park.

Lycorma delicatula is a particularly large planthopper. Although associated with ailanthus, it will feed on at least 70 species, including fruits, hops, grapes, maples, and walnuts. It’s being treated as a serious threat to agricultural and forest health. Aggregations of them also make an awful mess because of the amount of honeydew they expel.

You can see the long tube-like mouthpart in this picture. I saw some of the early instar nymphs in Princeton NJ in May, and I was surprised how much larger the adult form is, a solid inch long and about half that wide. This PDF from the NYS DEC shows the instars and compares them with “look-a-likes” that don’t look really look like it. (But I guess for non-bug people….)

They’re definitely striking. I only saw this one. It was on an ailanthus sapling growing along a weedy fence. Sightings should be reported to the DEC. Egg masses should be destroyed by squashing them firmly with something like a credit card. For the adults, use what you can. A boot in this case.

2 Responses to “They’re Here”

  1. 1 Chuck McAlexander August 3, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    Been looking for them in Central Park. Glad to report no finds. Inevitable to see them eventually, I guess. What eats them?

  2. 2 Chuck McAlexander August 8, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    I’m pleased to report we found none on Randall’s Island yesterday. We did find one Japanese Beetle, but it didn’t seem to be eating anything we could see.

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