Report Sightings of the Invasive Spotted Lanternfly

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has issued an alert regarding this invasive species. The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is not a fly, but a planthopper. Found recently in the US, Spotted Lanternfly has NOT been detected in Ontario yet. However, it has been found in Pennsylvania, where it overwintered successfully. In other countries, it has become a major agricultural pest. For this reason, it has been added to Ontario’s “watch list”.

This insect overwinters on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) and any smooth bark tree or surface (e.g. patio stones and other hardscaping materials, outdoor furniture). The young insects are black with white spots.

The adult has grayish forewings with black spots; the hind wings are red and black spotted on the lower portion and grey and black with a bold white stripe on the upper portion.

In late September, the adults feed and lay eggs on willow (Salix), maple (Acer), poplar (Populus), sycamore (Platanus), as well as on fruit trees, such as plum, cherry, and peach. In addition, they have been found on grape (Vitis), tulip tree (Liriodendron) and cork-tree (Phellodendron). For more information, including images, see the OMAFRA notice here.

If you see this insect, please report the sighting. Make sure to record where you saw it and, if possible, take photos of the insect and the host tree. Report at https://www.eddmaps.org/ontario/ (an app is available to submit the observation directly with your smartphone) or call the Invading Species Hotline 1-800-563-7711.