BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SPOTTED LANTERNFLY!

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and entomologists are on the lookout for Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), a new invasive species in the United States that could move north into Canada. This very distinctive bug has tan-coloured forewings with black spots and can be quite large as adults (about 2.5 cm long by 1 cm wide). The underwing of the adults has bright red or pink highlights.

Spotted Lanternfly. Photo credit: Dr. Bryan Brunet, AAFC Ottawa

Spotted Lanternfly is native to Asia but was detected in Pennsylvania, United States of America, in 2014. Since then, it has been found in many states in the northeast of the United States, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. It can disperse short distances as an adult or nymph by walking or flying, but eggs can be moved long distances by humans, especially if they are laid on vehicles, packing materials, or other items that are moved by humans. It is very important to inspect vehicles for egg masses if you are traveling back to Canada from areas where spotted lanternfly is established.

Spotted Lanternfly Egg Mass. Photo credit: Holly Raguza, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

Adults and nymphs of the spotted lanternfly feed on their host plants by sucking sap from leaves and stems. Their preferred host plant is tree-of-heaven, a plant introduced to North America. However, spotted lanternfly also feeds on grapes, apples, plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, oak, walnut, and poplar trees. Thus, this insect could be a significant threat to the orchard and forestry industries in Canada.

Spotted lanternfly is on the CFIA regulated pest list, thus, it is our responsibility to report sightings. Early detection of this invasive insect is the best way to eradicate it and prevent it from becoming established in Canada. If you think you have seen or found a spotted lanternfly, report it to the CFIA Canadian Food Inspection Agency / Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments. Refer to this PDF copy of an expanded description of this invasive species.

You can also upload sightings to iNaturalist.ca and tag @cfia-acia in the comment section of your observation to reach the CFIA experts.

References:

This article is an edited version of Dave Holden’s earlier article on the same subject. The article can be seen at this link: Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) – Fact sheet – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (canada.ca) , or on the CFIA facebook page: Have you seen the… – Canadian Food Inspection Agency | Facebook

iNaturalist.ca

Looking for help online to identify unusual flora and fauna? Apps aplenty exist but consider iNaturalist.ca because there are underlying benefits!

iNaturalist.ca helps users identify terrestrial organisms by connecting to online “experts” able to identify and provide information to users but there’s an underlying secondary benefit: Researchers, institutions, and active research projects can set up Lists and access observations within iNaturalist.ca. This is citizen science in action!

“Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed”, to quote from iNaturalist.ca’s webpage.

Here’s how Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) who are already using and accessing valuable data from this resource to aid in the early detection of invasive species.

What’s best – iNaturalist.ca OR iNaturalist.com? Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the team that focuses on the detection of invasive species generally recommends iNaturalist.ca because it allows Canadians better access to Canadian experts and Canadian data.

Is iNaturalist.ca worth using to identify unknown insects encountered in field crops? iNaturalist.ca is going to be the leader in early detections and is a fairly intuitive and usable tool for everyone. It’s not perfect for all organisms but works well for many. CFIA staff are actively monitoring it and, in the near future, CFIA hopes to set up an account that might allow users to flag observations for their team to see more rapidly.

How does CFIA mine iNaturalist and what is the value? CFIA uses a script through the Intauralist API to query for any mentions of our targeted list under the project here: Important Pest Species List for Canada – Lookout · iNaturalist. CFIA staff members receive a daily email of all the target list mentions (i.e., includes insects, plants, and mollusks). In order to increase early detections, CFIA’s also trying to retrieve data from comments such as when someone mentions a new record or new detection. At this point, only a few pathogens are listed in our pest lookout because many of CFIA’s regulated pests would need more than a picture (so we didn’t add them). CFIA staff believe iNaturalist.ca is a great tool for early detection because the number of observations is very large and growing like crazy AND they are geographically widespread.

The basic steps to get you going are:
◦ Create an account at iNaturalist.ca (https://inaturalist.ca/signup).
◦ Watch your Inbox for a basic how-to guide.
◦ Upload photos or videos (e.g., bird calls) to create an “Observation”.
◦ iNaturalist subscribers considered to be experts will help identify your observation.

Early detection of invasive insect species

Could be coming to a field near you….. Many of Canada’s economically important species of insect pests originated as invasive species that managed to relocate and establish self-sustaining populations. Over time, they become increasingly widespread and so frequently abundant that they are part of the annual list of species we monitor and attempt to manage.

Examples of invasive species existing presently throughout large areas of the Canadian prairies include wheat midge, cereal leaf beetle, cabbage seedpod weevil, pea leaf weevil, swede midge – in fact, the list of invasive species is far longer! Consider the impact of invasive species AND recognize that a growing list of species will likely affect field crops in Canada. Globalization, adaptation, and the development of new cultivars suited to Canada’s growing regions, climate change, plus many other factors will contribute to the reality: we can expect more invasive species to continue to arrive.

Where can you play a role??? Early detection and accurate identification are key steps involved in mitigating the risks associated with new invasive species. Many levels of government are active in the ongoing battle against invasive species. Even so, initial detections often arise from keen in-field scouting by producers or agrologists so access these resources to help identify the “that’s weird” or “I haven’t seen that before”. And be sure to thank the many entomologists – regional, provincial, federal, and some amazing amateurs PLUS the folks at Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) who ALL work to stand on guard for thee!

Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) main Plant Health section can be accessed here.

• More specifically, CFIA’s Plant Pests and Invasive Species information is accessible here.

• Did you know…. CFIA’s top field crop invasive species include anything falling under the List of Pests Regulated by Canada which is accessible here. Caveats are that (i) some species may be on the list (e.g., codling moth) that are not necessarily a high priority but remain to maintain regulatory policy or (ii) list may include species yet to be removed.

• Anyone can access diagnostic information for invasive species at CFIA’s Plant Pest Surveillance section accessible here.

HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN HELP – Experienced producers and agrologists make important discoveries every day! Keep Canadian agriculture strong and support the detection of invasive species when encountering unusual damage symptoms or unknown insect species. How and what to report plus 3 different pathways to submit your sightings are all described here.

Early detection of invasive insect species

Many of Canada’s economically important species of insect pests originated as invasive species that managed to relocate and establish self-sustaining populations. Over time, they became increasingly widespread and so frequently abundant that they became part of the annual list of species we monitor and attempt to manage.

Examples of invasive species that now exist as part of our field crop landscape include wheat midge, cereal leaf beetle, cabbage seedpod weevil, pea leaf weevil, swede midge – in fact, the list of invasive species is far longer! It’s important to consider the impact of invasive species AND recognize that a growing list of species will likely affect field crops in Canada. Globalization, adaptation, and the development of new cultivars suited to Canada’s growing regions, climate change, plus many other factors will contribute to the reality: we can expect more invasive species to continue to arrive.

Where can you play a role??? Early detection and accurate identification are key steps involved in mitigating the risks associated with new invasive species. Many levels of government are active in the ongoing battle against invasive species. Even so, initial detections often arise from keen in-field scouting by producers or agrologists so access these resources to help identify the “that’s weird” or “I haven’t seen that before”. And be sure to thank the many entomologists – regional, provincial, federal, and some amazing amateurs PLUS the folks at Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) who ALL work to stand on guard for thee!

Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) main Plant Health section can be accessed here.

• More specifically, CFIA’s Plant Pests and Invasive Species information is accessible here.

• Did you know…. CFIA’s top field crop invasive species include anything falling under the List of Pests Regulated by Canada which is accessible here. Caveats are that (i) some species may be on the list (e.g., codling moth) that are not necessarily a high priority but remain to maintain regulatory policy or (ii) list may include species yet to be removed.

• Anyone can access diagnostic information for invasive species at CFIA’s Plant Pest Surveillance section accessible here.

HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN HELP – Experienced producers and agrologists make important discoveries every day! Keep Canadian agriculture strong and support the detection of invasive species using this important information and the three options when encountering unusual damage symptoms or unknown insect species:

Important details to be ready to report: Be ready to include details to make a “report” – Sightings need to be validated so providing as much detail as possible will help the expert confirm identifications and relocate the site, if the issue demands urgent attention.
◦ Date of observation
◦ Nearest town and province
◦ Latitude x longitude values
◦ Host plant(s)
◦ Good photo(s) – lateral, dorsal, damage symptoms, host plant, etc., with some sort of size reference is ideal
◦ Chronological photos (i.e., that tell the story of detection and how and when symptoms or specimen came to your attention)
◦ A specimen may be needed by your provincial entomologist or CFIA

Option 1: Contact your provincial entomologist to confirm identifications and details – they are able to help and historically have acted to triage reports then direct relevant information to CFIA counterparts:
◦ Manitoba (John.Gavloski@gov.mb.ca )
◦ Saskatchewan (james.tansey@gov.sk.ca)
◦ Alberta (shelley.barkley@gov.ab.ca)

Option 2: Alternatively, reports can be sent directly using one of the following paths:
◦ Using CFIA’s Report A Pest website form
◦ Contact a local CFIA office
◦ Or contact CFIA’S general surveillance account email at cfia.surveillance-surveillance.acia@canada.ca
◦ Or contact CFIA’s Survey Biologist for the Western Area (david.holden@canada.ca)

Option 3: Another alternative is to consider documenting your query using iNaturalist.ca (read more here). The basic steps involved are:
◦ Create an account at iNaturalist.ca (https://inaturalist.ca/signup)
◦ Watch your Inbox for a basic how-to guide.
◦ Upload photos or videos (e.g., bird calls) to create an “Observation”
◦ iNaturalist subscribers considered to be experts will help identify your observation.