Orientation of flight for physically disturbed spotted lanternflies, Lycorma delicatula, (Hemiptera, fulgoridae).
The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, (Hemiptera, Fulgoridae) is an invasive pest to Korea and the United States, originating from China or Southeast Asia. Immature L. delicatula feed on a wide range of plants, but the adults are more host-selective, often preferring the tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima. We performed field studies to evaluate adult movement in relation to A. altissima after disturbance. The Ailanthus trees were in a mixed suburban forested situated at the southern border of an open grassy field. Female adult lanternflies were manually disturbed from feeding on the trunks of large A. altissima trees. In the first experiment, insects were disturbed directly from the tree using a ballpoint pen to simulate a predatory attack. These insects usually flew initially southward away from the tree line toward a sunlit field, but turned northward back toward the tree line. In the second experiment, to simulate an initially successful predatory attack, they were manually taken from trees, and allowed to escape. The females immediately opened their wings in an apparent aposematic display. They then either immediately flew toward the sunlit open field, or remained with their wings splayed open for a prolonged period.