The spotted lanternfly was originally brought to the United States from Asia in 2014. It was first spotted in New York in 2020, and has since spread across all five boroughs of New York City.
Spotted Lanternfly (Adult)
Spotted lanternflies are an invasive species of treehoppers that have spread across the eastern United States.
These pests primarily feed on the sap of Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven), but they also pose a major agricultural threat to vineyards and other cultivated plants and trees.
They’re mainly a nuisance in urban environments, congregating in large numbers on sidewalks and around buildings. It’s recommended to kill them on sight.
Size: 3/4–1 inch long (19–25 mm); about the length of a quarter
Color: Black, red, and brownish-gray
Shape: Oval-shaped body with small, bulb-like antennae, 6 legs, and 2 pairs of large wings
Legs: 6 legs; long and black
Antennae: Small, orange, and bulbous antennae
Body: Small, black head and an oval-shaped abdomen that’s yellow with thick black stripes on the top and bottom
Wings: 2 pairs of large, butterfly-like wings; forewings are brownish-gray and semi-translucent with many black spots and tiny brick-and-mortar-like rectangular markings on the tip; hindwings are half vivid red with black spots and half white with a solid black tip
Spotted Lanternfly (Nymph)
In the spring, newly hatched spotted lanternfly nymphs emerge from mud-covered egg masses that the adults laid in the fall.
They go through 4 instar stages, changing color from mostly black to mostly red.
Spotted lanternfly nymphs are strong jumpers and are often seen crowding around tree trunks in large numbers as they feed.
Size: 1/4–3/4 inch long (6–19 mm) depending on the instar stage
Color: Black with white spots; 4th instar nymphs are red
Shape: Teardrop-shaped body with a wide abdomen, a long snout, and 6 legs
Legs: 6 legs; long, black, and covered in white spots
Antennae: Small, black, and bulbous antennae
Head: Small head with round eyes on each side and an elongated snout
Body: Wide, oval-shaped abdomen; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd instar nymphs are black and covered in white spots, while 4th instar nymphs develop large red patches in addition to the white spots