Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Perspective: shedding light on spotted lanternfly impacts in the USA.

Abstract

Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) is an invasive phloem-feeding planthopper currently being quarantined in a 24 000 km2 area in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, with a second population under quarantine in a 46 km2 area in Virginia. Because this insect feeds on over 70 species of plants, it has the potential to impact a wide range of sectors, and as a result, there has been great public speculation that the economic impact of SLF could be severe. SLF is a large-bodied voracious feeder that reduces plant resources directly by feeding, and indirectly, from sooty mold that grows on its excrement and blocks photosynthesis. SLF is causing severe damage to vineyards from feeding, and is a significant nuisance pest. It has high potential for spread via human-mediated transport, particularly of egg cases, and may therefore significantly impact commerce in the near future. The ultimate impacts of this insect are not yet known, and will depend upon its longer term impacts on plant and tree health, and the extent to which its range expands.