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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 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″ long (19 – 25 mm); about the size of a quarter

Color: Black, red, yellow, and brownish-gray

Shape: Oval-shaped body with 6 legs and 2 pairs of large, distinctive wings

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″ long (6 – 19 mm) depending on the instar stage

Color: Black with white spots; 4th instar nymphs are red

Shape: Pear-shaped body with a wide abdomen, a long snout, and 6 legs