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Invasive Species: Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly

(Lycorma delicatula)
*Detected in Michigan*

WATCH LIST

WHAT IS SPOTTED LANTERNFLY?

Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is native to China and was first detected in Pennsylvania in September 2014. Spotted lanternfly feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental, and woody trees, with tree-of-heaven being one of the preferred hosts. Spotted lanternflies are invasive and can be spread long distances by people who move infested material or items containing egg masses. If allowed to spread in the United States, this pest could seriously impact the country’s grape, orchard, and logging industries.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

  • Adults are 1” long leaf hoppers. Folded wings are gray to brown with black spots. 
  • Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen and bright red hind wings with black spots transitioning to black and white bands at the edge.
  • Nymphs are ¼ inch to ½ inch long, wingless and beetle-like, first appearing black with white spots and developing red patches as they mature.
  • Egg masses resemble old chewing gum, with a gray, waxy, putty-like coating. 
  • Hatched eggs appear as brownish, seed-like deposits.

Spotted lanternfly with wings open

Spotted lanternfly adult stage. Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.

A side view of a spotted lanternfly adult with wings folded. Wings are pink to gray with black spots.

Adult spotted lanternfly with wings folded. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.

Egg masses on a tree trunk
Spotted lanternfly egg mass. Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.

Immature spotted lanternflies crawling on a stem
Spotted lanternfly juvenile stages. Photo courtesy of Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State University, Bugwood.org. 

Spotted lanternflies clustered on a tree trunk

Spotted lanternflies and sooty mold. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.

REPORT SPOTTED LANTERNFLY:

If you see suspect adult or immature spotted lanternflies, take pictures if possible, record the location, try to collect them in a container and report it. If you see suspect egg masses or other signs and symptoms, do not disturb them.  Take photos if possible, note the location and report it to:

Michigan's Eyes in the Field online reporting system. Please upload photos if available to aid in identification.

- Or - Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone - MISIN.MSU.edu/tools/apps/#home

ABOUT THIS SPECIES

Habitat: Spotted lanternfly prefers to feed on the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), but also will feed on a wide range of plants including grapes, and other trees such as black walnut, river birch, willow, sumac and red maple.

Native Range: Eastern Asian

U.S. Distribution

A map of the eastern U.S. highlighting counties known to be infested with spotted lanternfly.

         Map courtesy of New York State Integrated Pest Management Program 

Michigan Distribution: Spotted lanternfly has been detected in areas of Oakland County.

Michigan Status: Spotted lanternfly is on Michigan’s watch list.

Local Concern: Spotted lanternfly feeds on more than 70 different plants including grapes, apples, hops and hardwood trees. The insects cause direct damage by sucking sap from host plants and secreting large amounts of a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black sooty mold can kill plants and foul surfaces. The honeydew often attracts other pests like yellow jackets, flies, and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and complicating crop harvests.

Means of Introduction or Spread: Although spotted lanternflies cannot fly long distances, they lay eggs on nearly any surface like cars, trailers, firewood, outdoor furniture and more. Before leaving an infested area, check vehicles, firewood and outdoor equipment for unwanted hitchhikers.

Control:

Seasonal updates on spotted lanternfly management are available at Michigan State University's spotted lanternfly webpage.  

MORE INFORMATION

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Spotted Lanternfly Forest Pest Alert - printable PDF

Small format Spotted Lanternfly Pest Alert - printable PDF

Spotted lanternfly identification - printable PDF

Tree of heaven identification - printable PDF

Spotted lanternfly: A colorful cause for concern - MSU Extension fact sheet

National Pest Alert - Spotted Lanternfly

USDA-APHIS Spotted Lanternfly Information

Pennsylvania State University Extension Spotted Lanternfly Information 

Twitter - Stop SLF