Spotted lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive alien species, native to Asia. 

An adult spotted lanternfly with its spotted brown, red and white wings spread.
Adult spotted lanternfly. Photo: Lawrence Barringer

This planthopper (Order: Hemiptera) poses risk to more than 100 species of trees and plants, which includes fruit trees and grape vines. Its preferred host is Tree-of-heaven (also an invasive alien species), but it doesn’t need it to complete its lifecycle. It has piecing/sucking mouthparts, which it uses to puncture plant tissue and suck out its nutrient-rich fluid, leading to plant decline.

Within North America, spotted lanternfly was first found in Pennsylvania in September 2014, and is now widespread there. No populations of spotted lanternfly have been found in Ontario yet.

Spotted lanternfly is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 

A small red bug with white spots climbs on a branch with small black bugs with white spots.
A spotted lanternfly nymph. Photo: Lawrence Barringer

Everyone is encouraged to familiarize themselves with the appearance of this invasive species, which varies depending on its maturity. Nymphs may be black with white spots, or red with white spots, depending on their age. Adults have spotted, greyish-brown forewings. Its hindwings, visible when in flight, are red, black and white.

A collection of small spotted lanternfly eggs are in small lines in an exposed section of tree bark.
Egg masses appear on tree bark. Photo: Richard Gardner

How to report spotted lanternfly

If you suspect you may have found evidence of spotted lanternfly in the London region, follow these steps:

  • Spot it - in the spring and summer, be on the lookout for spotted lanternfly nymphs and adults. In the fall and winter, look for spotted lanternfly egg masses. Check your vehicle if you are visiting an infested area. 
  • Snap it – Try to get clear photographs
  • Catch it - Scrape egg masses and freeze, attempt to capture adults or nymphs in a container for identification.
  • Report it – Contact for advice and follow-up by city forestry staff.

    Adult spotted lanternflies, with black spots on their wings, explore the bark of a tree.
    Adult spotted lanternflies explore a tree. Photo: Richard Gardner


Last modified:Friday, July 05, 2024