(Note – the below post was submitted by Katherine Dugas of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. As part of her duties with the Entomology Department at CAES, Katherine is Project Coordinator for the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey, or CAPS. Additional details on CAPS can be found on the CAES website.)
Spotted lanternfly is a somewhat ‘new’ kid on the block – populations were first discovered in Berks County, PA in late 2014. It is a species of planthopper,
more closely related to aphids and cicadas than moths. It is a potential threat to many important agricultural crops, such as grapes, apples, hops, and forest products.
Adults are showy and there aren’t many natives it can be easily mistaken for. Nymphs are flightless but can jump, older instars are brightly-colored. The egg masses are the hardest life stage to spot. They are laid similar to gypsy moth egg masses and very well camouflaged.
Monitoring and control efforts in PA are ongoing, but there is much concern that it can spread to other states via anthropogenic activity. This past fall we had two reports of spotted lanternfly being found outside of PA. The first was a single female found in New Castle County, DE. The report was released on 11/20/17. View the New Castle County report.
The second report, released 11/29/17, is of a single dead spotted lanternfly found in Delaware County, NY. It is thought that the insect arrived on an interstate shipment. View the Delaware County report.
If you suspect you have found spotted lanternfly, please contact Katherine Dugas of the CT Agricultural Experiment Station. Email is Katherine.Dugas@ct.gov – please collect suspect insects and send photographs.