Subject: Gry and red bug
Geographic location of the bug: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Time: 08:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Very interested in what type of bug/beetle this is. My son is an environmental scientist and has never seen this one before.
How you want your letter signed: Baffled Abba
Dear Baffled Abba,
This is an invasive Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, a recently introduced Asian species that according to BugGuide: “Native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam; invasive in Korea and in our area. Currently (2018) known from 6 counties in PA; also found in DE, NY, VA.” According to Delaware News: “The spotted lanternfly – a destructive, invasive plant hopper – has been confirmed in New Castle County. Delaware is the second state to have found the insect which was first detected in the United States in 2014, in Berks County, PA. The spotted lanternfly has now spread to 13 Pennsylvania counties. This insect is a potential threat to several important agricultural crops including grapes, apples, peaches, and lumber.” According to RecordOnLine: “The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets confirmed that the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect, was found for the first time in New York State on Nov. 29, 2017.” According to the Northern Virginia Daily: “A professor specializing in the study of insects confirmed a few days ago the reported sighting of a spotted lanternfly at a business in Winchester. The professor, Douglas Pfeiffer of Virginia Tech, had visited other parts of Virginia in search of the lanternfly, but this was the first time he has been able to verify its presence. The spotted lanternfly, which feeds on the sap of vines and trees, first came to the United States from China in 2014. Since then, the insects have been found mostly in Pennsylvania. But Pfeiffer said that it has been expanding where it lives since arriving.” According to BugGuide: According to BugGuide: “SIGHTING REPORTS WANTED: Experts are working to delimit the current population and find new infestations of this species. Please report sightings on the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture website. earliest NA record: PA 2014.”