The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, (Hemiptera Fulgoridae) is an invasive pest in Korea and the United States, but originating from mainland Asia. Both tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima, and grapevine (Vitis) are known to be preferred hosts of adults. However, much is unknown about its adult behavior with respect to mating or dispersal patterns. In 2015, just after it was discovered in the United States, we performed an observational study to elucidate movement by adults in relation to host plants. We noted weekly changes in their presence and sex ratio on host plants at four sites in a quarantine zone in Berks County, PA. Just after adult emergence, the trunks of large (>15 cm diameter at breast height) A. altissima hosted nearly exclusively females, while smaller A. altissima, Vitis, Salix nigra, and other less commonly inhabited tree species, had high proportions of males. By October 1st, greater proportions of males were observed on the trunks of the larger A. altissima trees. Pairings of males and females were observed most frequently on the smaller A. altissima and Vitis. At the very end of the season, a large mixed-sex population was found on Salix nigra, which was the only deciduous tree species in the area still bearing green leaves.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science