Environmental Education

Environmental Education



From PA Department of Agriculture

SPOTTED LANTERNFLY

spotted lanternfly
Figure 1 Lateral view of an adult Lycorma delicatula
Photograph by Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Description

On Sept. 22, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, confirmed the presence the Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, (WHITE)) in Berks County, as part of its responsibility to identify plants/weeds, insects and mites, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and viruses that impact Pennsylvania’s natural resources, flora and economy.  .  On Nov. 1, 2014, the Commonwealth announced a quarantine with the intent to restrict the movement of this pest. This is the first detection of Spotted Lanternfly in the United States.


The Spotted Lanternfly is a planthopper from Asia, specifically found in China, Korea, India, Vietnam, and parts of eastern Asia. It is an invasive insect in Korea where it was introduced in 2006 and since has attacked 25 plant species which also grow in Pennsylvania.. In the U.S. it has the potential to greatly impact the grape, fruit tree and logging industries. This pest attacks many hosts including grapes, apples, pines, stone fruits and more than 70 additional species. Early detection is vital to the effective control of this pest and the protection of PA businesses and agriculture.

large spotted lanternfly




Figure 2 Lycorma adult with wings spread showing colorful hind wing
Photograph by Holly Raguza, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Beginning in late April to early May nymphs will hatch from egg masses laid on smooth bark, stone, and other vertical surfaces. Nymphs will complete four immature stages.  The first stage (3) is black with white spots and wingless. As it grows, the Spotted Lanternfly will start to develop red patches (4) in addition to the white spots.  Nymphs spread from the initial site by crawling and feeding on woody and non-woody plants.


Adults can be seen as early as July and take on a much different appearance. Adults at rest have a black head and grayish wings with black spots. The tips of the wings are a combination of black rectangular blocks with grey outlines. When startled or flying the Spotted Lanternfly will display hind wings that are red and black blocks with a white stripe dividing them.  The red portion of the wing is also adorned with black spots. The abdomen is also a yellowish white with bands of black on the top and bottom. While a poor flyer, the Spotted Lanternfly is a strong jumper.

In the fall, adults switch hosts to focus on Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). This introduced invasive tree is the preferred host that the adults feed on in the fall and is used preferentially for egg laying. However, Tree of Heaven is not the only tree or surface the Spotted Lanternfly will lay eggs upon – any smooth trunked tree, stone or vertical smooth surface can provide a potential host for eggs masses. Manmade items like vehicles, campers, yard furniture, farm equipment or any other items stored outside are suitable sites for egg laying. Egg laying begins in late September and continues up through the onset of winter.

This pest poses a significant threat to the state’s more than $20.5 million grape, nearly $134 million apple, and more than $24 million stone fruit industries.  Pine and hardwood logging in Pennsylvania also accounts for $12 billion in sales.

Signs and Symptoms:

In the spring search for the nymphs on smaller plants and vines. Fruit trees and grapes can be especially susceptible to damage and mortality under larger populations.  As the year progresses the Spotted Lanternfly host choice will transition to trees.  Trees can be afflicted with weeping wounds of sap on the trunks.  Heavy populations can cause honey dew secretions to build up at the base of the tree, blackening the soil around the base.  The largest colonies can produce large fungal mats at the base of tree.  Increased activity of wasps, hornets, bees, and ants can be seen feeding on honeydew secretions and at tree wounds.

Egg masses can also be found on trees, especially Ailanthus alitissima (Tree of Heaven) and other smooth bark trees.  Smooth surfaces outdoors such as lawn furniture, stone and brick work, and outdoor recreational vehicles can also harbor egg masses. These masses pose a great risk for the accidental transport of this pest to new areas. Egg masses are present in October and will hatch in the spring starting as early as April. 

Response:

  • Since the pest is new to the United States, the department is reviewing a variety of options including eradication.  Currently a quarantine is in place to stop the movement of this pest to new areas and to slow its spread within the quarantine.
  • The department is working with other state and federal agencies to develop a comprehensive action plan and find tools useful for control of this pest.
  • The quarantine affects a variety of plant, wood and stone products. 
  • Surveys are currently underway to determine the complete spread of this pest in Berks County and the surrounding counties. Efforts are also underway to ensure the Spotted Lanternfly is not present in other parts of the commonwealth. 
  • Outdoor household articles including recreational vehicles, lawn tractors and mowers, mower decks, grills, grill and furniture covers, tarps, mobile homes, tile, stone, deck boards, mobile fire pits, any associated equipment and trucks or vehicles not stored indoors.

What to do if you:  
See eggs:  Scrape them off the tree or smooth surface, double bag them and throw them in the garbage, or place the eggs in alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. 
Collect a specimen:  Turn the adult specimen or egg mass in to the department’s Entomology Lab for verification. First, place the sample in alcohol or hand sanitizer in a leak proof container. A Sample Submission Form can be found in the Publications section below.
Take a picture:  Submit photographs to
Badbug@pa.gov
Report a site:   Call the Bad Bug hotline at 1-866-253-7189 with details of the siting and your contact information.

 

For more information or to report possible populations of Spotted Lanternfly:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer is a half-inch long metallic green beetle with the scientific name. Larvae of this beetle feed under the bark of ash trees. Their feeding eventually girdles and kills branches and entire trees. Emerald ash borer was first identified in North America in southeastern Michigan in 2002. In the years since that discovery, the beetle has spread across many states and into Pennsylvania.  It has spread across Pennsylvania from west to east.  Infestations have been identified in counties adjacent to Lehigh County.

Emerald ash borer feeds exclusively on ash trees in North America. Host species include green ash, white ash, black ash, blue ash, and pumpkin ash. Tens of millions of ash trees have been lost to this pest, which usually kills ash trees within 3-4 years of infestation.

To report possible infested trees in Pennsylvania, contact: The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture 1-866-253-7189

Symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation include upper crown dieback, epicormic branching, bark splits and bark flaking, or tissue damage resulting from woodpecker predation.

Signs of emerald ash borer include the adult beetle or larva, “D” shaped exit holes, and “S” shaped larval galleries under the bark.


Source:  PA Bureau of Forestry