Massachusetts
Introduced Pests Outreach Project

Spotted Lanternfly

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Scientific Name:Lycorma delicatula
Common Names: Spotted lanternfly

Known Hosts:
The spotted lanternfly is found on a wide range of plants, including grape (Vitis spp.), the invasive tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), apple (Malus spp.), plum (Prunus spp.), pine (Pinus spp), and 65 other plants. The nymphs of this species tend to be less picky about host plants, whereas the adults tend to prefer tree of heaven to feed on and lay their eggs.

Key ID Features
Adults have brownish-gray forewings with black spots, and appear dull when at rest. (Figure 1)
When disturbed, the lanternfly will hop or fly away, revealing bright red and white hindwings. (Figure 2)
Overwinters as a gray egg mass laid on any smooth flat surface. The egg mass resembles mud. (Figure 3)
The first 3 instar nymphs are black with varying amounts of white speckling. The final, fourth instar nymph is red, black and white. The nymphs can be found on host plants, often feeding on the softer parts of the plants. (Figure 4)
Description of damage
Adults and nymphs of this species cause significant damage by feeding on sap from the stems, leaves, and trunks of the trees.
Adult lanternflies damage trees by feeding on the sap and excreting honeydew. The honeydew then causes sooty mold and attracts other insects that may also cause damage to the plant.
Current Distribution
Spotted Lanternfly was first discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania in September of 2014. It has since spread to 4 counties in Pennsylvania and is under a quarantine in that state. As of December 2015, Spotted Lanternfly has not been found in Massachusetts.
Similar Species or Symptoms
There are currently no similar species found in the northeastern United States.
Fact Sheets and References
USDA pest alert
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture pest alert
Latest news from Pennsylvania State University Extension

last reviewed December 16, 2015


Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.