Crow’s Nest: They’re here! (spotted lanternfly larvae)

May 29, 2018

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Yes, we’ve “spotted” them now, the larvae of spotted lanternflies of which we first saw adults last September. They’re tiny—I can’t see them without my reading glasses—and this one is perched on the seed pod of greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), a weed of waste spaces (here behind the wood pile). The larvae of Lycorma delicatula are jumpers, just like the adults, so I had great difficulty getting a photo and will keep trying to get better ones. One split second it’s there, and then it’s gone from the frame, and I have no idea where it went.

Nonetheless they’re here, and no doubt have already begun consuming the sap of trees. Keep in mind that we don’t have any of their preferred host (the invasive Ailanthus altissima, tree-of-heaven) here, but there are plenty of other trees and vines that they feed upon.