Since my last posting, there have been some spotted lanternfly (SLF) developments. As you know from previous postings, there is a distinctive difference in appearance of fourth instar nymphs compared with the first three stages. The fourth instar is bright red with black and white markings, instead of black with white spots. Fourth instar nymphs appeared on June 29 by two separate observers. As with earlier instars, this was in advance of the date predicted (July 9) based on a Korean paper tied with our observed first egg hatch.
A second, and more important development, is that first adults were seen yesterday (July 12). Observers were on-site on July 6 and July 11, when only nymphs were seen, so the July 12 date seems reliable. The original prediction of adult emergence was July 31 – clearly, SLF development is faster relative to South Korea. This is probably related to climatic differences. The Korean paper used simple calendar days, when degree-days would have provided a more realistic result.
We will now be watching for the beginning of the oviposition. We will be looking for egg masses on various tree species, stone, train cars and parked truck trailers (a rail line and several industrial sites are located in the infestation zone).
Thanks to Corey Riedel (VT Fruit Entomology) and David Gianino (VDACS) for the photos!
We have posted further information on SLF, linked here:
Virginia Cooperative Extension web page:
Spotted lanternfly fact sheet (Virginia Tech):
Spotted lanternfly Pest Alert (Virginia Tech):
Spotted lanternfly fact sheet (Spanish; USDA):
VERY IMPORTANT: A web site to report suspected finds of SLF, including uploading of digital photos.:
I’ll be posting developments on this pest here as they develop.