Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive planthopper native to Asia. Since it entered the US in 2014, SLF has spread across several eastern states, but it has not yet been detected in Colorado. This insect causes damage by feeding on the sap of fruit trees, grapevines, hops, hardwoods and ornamentals.
- Spotted lanternflies (SLFs) are planthoppers with straw-like mouthparts that they use to feed on plant vascular tissues.
- Adults are ~7/8 inch long and have brightly colored hindwings (red, black, and white).
- Nymphs are 1/8 – 1/2 inch in length and are black with white spots when they are in earlier developmental stages (1st to 3rd instar) and red with white spots and black stripes when the nymphs reach 4th instar.
- SLF has one generation per year. Eggs are the overwintering stage and nymphs hatch in spring (April-June). Small black nymphs feed during early summer, and adults are usually active in mid-summer.
Spotted lanternfly with wings folded. Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org
SLF nymph third instar. Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org.
SLF egg mass on bark. Emilie Swackhamer, Penn State University, Bugwood.org
SLF with wings unfolded.
SLF nymph fourth instar. Richard Gardner, Bugwood.org.
- SLF has not yet been detected in Colorado
- SLF is a key pest in many plants such as trees, shrubs, hops, and grapevines.
- SLF has one generation per year, and both nymphs and adults cause plant damage.
SLF nymphs. Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org
- SFL feed on a variety of woody plants such as fruit trees, grapevines, hops, shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but it has a wide host range of over 70 known plants.
- Adults and immatures feed on phloem and excrete excess sugars as honeydew, which can accumulate on leaves and attracts ants, bees, flies, wasps, and promotes growth of black sooty mold.
- Vineyards and nearby woodlands should be monitored from July-November.
- Tree-of-heaven, a highly desirable host for SLF should be monitored using sticky bands wrapped around trees or visual checks. Sticky bands can also be a management tool.
- SLF can by managed through removal of attractive host plants (tree-of-heaven, grapes, wild vines, and weeds), mechanical destruction of eggs, and chemical control.
Have Spotted Lanternfly?
If you suspect you have seen SLF, take a high-quality photo of it and send it to email@example.com or capture and send specimen to the CDA (address below) or your local CSU Extension Office.
Colorado Department of Agriculture
305 Interlocken Parkway
Broomfield, Colorado, 80021