Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula)

Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula)

What is a Spotted Lanternfly?

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) Lycorma delicatula, is a planthopper native to China and Southeastern Asia. Discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, and it has since been found in New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and New York. Despite efforts to quarantine and eradicate the pest, it has begun to spread throughout the Northeast United States. The Spotted Lanternfly poses a significant threat to the economy and the many forests of the United States. SLF feeds on sugary sap from over 70 species plants and trees, depriving them of nutrient access. Excretions of sticky honeydew from large collections of SLF can prevent sunlight from reaching trees and encourage the growth of sooty mold on plants. The combination of economic and environmental damage can restrict peoples enjoyment in parks and their own backyards. 

Spotted Lanternfly Distribution

How can you help? 

Educate yourself and others

Learn more about the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) from the resources provided. Learn how to identify SLF and educate others about what it looks like at all 4 stages, how to spot egg masses and when/where to look for them. Educate your friends and family about the negative impacts caused by SLF to outdoor recreation and forest health. Understand the threat Spotted Lanternfly pose to not only the local environment but also the New York State Agriculture, Hardwood, Fruit, Wine and Tourism industries. 

Spotted Lanternfly Life Cycle

It takes one year for the Spotted Lanternfly to complete its lifecycle. There are four instars (a phase between two periods of molting in development of an insect) of the Spotted Lanternfly. During each of these stages the Spotted Lanternfly can dramatically change in appearance and characteristics. These stages of development usually vary throughout the season and it is common to see multiple stages of Spotted Lanternfly presnt at the same time. 

SLF Eggs covered (Left) SLF eggs uncovered (Right)

Monitor and Report

Learn where to look for Spotted Lanternfly, their host species is the invasive Tree of Heaven but will also consume species of oak, pine, walnut, and willow. SLF are similar to aphids and are phloem feeders prefering to suck the sugary sap of grapevines, herbacious plants and trees like maple and apple. SLF excrete a sugary sap as they feed which can stick to leaves and grow sooty mold, blocking sunlight and leading to nearby plant stress. Sooty mold can also accumulate on outdoor furnature located below SLF feeding sights, accompanied by a fermented smell that attracts other bugs.


Confirm New sighting locations on iNaturalist. Adopt a location or "gridsquare" on iMapInvasives to monitor for Spotted Lanternfly. Fill out a Public Report with NYS Ag and Markets ArcGIS Survey123

 Report Spotted Lanternfly sightings to  
Spotted Lanternfly Feeding on Tree of Heaven

Stop Them!

If you are out in a park or preserve and see spotted lanternfly or egg masses, squish them with a nearby stick or use your shoe. If eggs are seen on a tree, you should collect them with a water bottle or similar sized opening container to be sealed in and thrown away. Inspect outdoor furnature, firewood and vehicles for egg masses from October to June. If you see SLF eggs on your tree, they should be scraped off and placed in a container with hand sanitizer or alcohol. Spotted Lanternfly Eggs can still hatch from masses that have fallen on the ground and have not been properly damaged. 

Learn more about SLF Monitoring on Long Island