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 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.
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.
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