NHBugs

Protecting trees and forests

Spotted Lanternfly Identification

Spotted lanternfly goes through several life stages in a single year. All life stages of spotted lanternfly have distinct appearances and are easily moved. Report suspect spotted lanternflies here. Photos can be submitted through this site. If possible, place the sample in the freezer for verification.

Life Stages

Eggs

Eggs are laid as a mass of 30 to 50 eggs with a protective putty-like covering. They are laid on tree trunks or any smooth surface including trees, stones, patio furniture, etc. As egg masses age, they begin to look like cracked mud. Egg masses are laid in late summer and are present until the nymphs begin to hatch in the spring and early summer. 

Photo credit: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, bugwood.org

Egg mass on a tree trunk, Photo credit: PA Dept. of Agriculture, bugwood.org

Young nymphs

Black with white spots, nymphs start at about the size of a tick. They go through three instars (stages) from spring through summer and feed on a variety of plants. Very young nymphs may feed on more tender plants. Nymphs tend to migrate up and down plants daily, providing an opportunity to capture them with sticky tree bands. 

Young nymphs, Photo credit: PA Dept. of Agriculture, bugwood.org

Fourth instar nymphs

Older instar nymphs are black with white spots, bright red patches, and wing buds. These are present from mid-summer to early fall.

Older nymph, Photo credit: PA Dept. of Agriculture, bugwood.org

Adults

Present from late summer through the autumn. Egg laying occurs throughout the adult life stage. Adults are the most visible stage.  

Adult spotted lanternfly, Photo credit: PA Dept. of Agriculture, bugwood.org

Adult spotted lanternfly, Photo credit: PA Dept. of Agriculture, bugwood.org