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PLNA e-News: Plants, Pests & Diseases

Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine in Berks County

Tuesday, November 4, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cathy Corrigan
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On November 5, 2014 there will be a special meeting on this quarantine targeted to Pike, District, Hereford, and Washington Townships in Berks County held by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), an invasive planthopper has been discovered in Berks County. The pest is native to China, India, Japan, Vietnam, and introduced to Korea where it is a pest. This pest attacks many hosts including grapes, apple, pines, stone fruits, and Tree of Heaven and has the potential to greatly impact the grape, fruit tree, and logging industries. Early detection is vital for the protection of Pennsylvania businesses and agriculture.

Identification: The Spotted Lanternfly is approximately 1" long and 1/2" wide. The fore-wing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey (A, B, C). The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band partially separating (A). The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. The mouth-parts are tubular and arises from the bottom of the head

Hosts: In the fall, adults can be found primarily on all sizes of Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)(D) and grape (Vitis sp.), often in clumps of 4-18 or more. Adults may also be found congregating at the tree base near leaf litter. After hatching, nymphs will move off Tree of Heaven and search out other hosts in the spring. In Korea it has been recorded as attacking 65 different species, 25 of which are known to grow in Pennsylvania.

Signs and Symptoms: Early in the fall the adults will congregate mainly on stems of Tree of Heaven and grape. Weeping wounds will leave a grayish or black trail along the trunk (E). Mold patches, appearing as large yellowish white mats, may develop at the tree base (F). Feeding damage will attract yellow jackets and hornets so caution is advised. In late Fall search efforts should switch to location of egg masses. Adults lay egg masses on trees and nearby smooth surfaces, like stone, outdoor furniture, vehicles, and other structures. Newly laid egg masses have a grey pitch like covering over the eggs (H). Old egg masses appear as rows of 30-50 brownish seed like deposits in 4-7 columns on the trunk, in a mass that is roughly an inch long (G).

Similar Species: 
Certain native insects bear a resemblance to this pest. Tiger moths and underwings both share the bright and showy hind wing contrasting a duller fore wing. The Spotted Lanternfly is a poor flyer compared to these moths and most insects, but is a very strong and quick jumper.

What to do if you: See eggs: Scrape the eggs off the tree or smooth surface, double bag them, and throw them away. You can alternately place the eggs into alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. 

Collect a specimen: The adult specimen or egg mass can be turned in to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Entomology lab for verification. Directions for submission are on the reverse of this Pest Alert. Take a picture: A photograph of the adults or egg masses (emerged or covered) can be submitted for verification. Submit photographs to Report a site: If you can't collect a specimen or take a photograph call the Automated Invasive Species Report Line 866-253-7189 and leave a message detailing your sighting and your contact information.


For more information and photos of the lanternfly and damage click here

By: Lawrence Barringer, Entomologist Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

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