Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Spatial dynamics of spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, invasion of the Northeastern United States.

Abstract

Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), is a non-native planthopper that recently established in the Northeastern United States. Little is known about the spatial dynamics of its invasion and key drivers associated with its regional spread. Here, using field survey data from a total of 241,366 survey locations from 2014-2019 in the eastern USA, we quantified rates of SLF spread and modeled factors associated with the risk of SLF invasion. During the study period, SLF invasion appears to be associated with both short- and long-distance dispersal. On average, the number of newly invaded counties per year increased since initial discovery, with 0-14 long-distance dispersal events per year and median jump distances ranging from 55 to 92 km/year throughout the study period. Radial rates of spread, based on two of the three analysis methods applied, varied from 38.6 to 46.2 km/year. A Cox proportional hazards model suggested that risk of SLF invasion increased with a proxy for humanaided dispersal, human population per county. We anticipate that SLF will continue to spread via both long- and short-distance dispersals, especially via human activities. Efforts to manage SLF populations potentially could target human-mediated movement of SLF to reduce rates of spread.