Got a potted plant over Christmas? State wants you to check it for a bug that could harm local trees, shrubs

Spotted lanternfly

From the Penna. Dept. of Agriculture, which knows its spotted lanternfly.

The state Department of Agricultural Resources reports a dead spotted lanternfly turned up nestled in a poinsettia in a Boston home, part of a shipment of poinsettias from Pennsylvania, where the bugs have become a threat to a variety of native flora.

It was just one dead bug, and the bugs don't survive a hard frost, so the state isn't too concerned, yet, but is still asking everybody who got any sort of potted plant over Christmastime to examine them for the mostly gray bugs, roughly an inch long, covered in spots, with wings that are gray on top and red underneath.

If you do find one (or more), take a picture and report it to the state. And stick them in a container so a state inspector can take a look on a followup.

According to the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Blog, the bugs prefer to munch on ailanthus trees, but will eat other plants as well:

Spotted lanternfly is an invasive sap-feeding insect from Asia that was first found in the United States in 2014 in Pennsylvania. While the main host plant of this pest is tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), spotted lanternfly attacks a variety of trees, shrubs, and vines, and has the potential to impact a broad range of agricultural commodities, including apples, peaches, grapes/wine, maple syrup, as well as the ornamental nursery industry.

More on the spreading menace.

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Comments

Gosh

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I know it's a pest, but that is beautiful!

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Voting is closed. 22

Disagree.

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Disagree.

This thing is nightmare fuel. It looks like a bee got spliced with a moth and then it went and then did the most monstrous thing and voted all MAGA.

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Voting is closed. 15

Better picture

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People are very unlikely to see the spotted lanternfly in their home with the wings carefully splayed out as for an insect collection. I don't know why they are leading with that picture.

The Wikipedia article has a view with the wings folded, which is what people are actually going to recognize: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycorma_delicatula

IMAGE(//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/Perho.jpg)

Basically, it's a huge planthopper.

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Voting is closed. 14

We didn't lead with that photo...

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Adam did *poke poke* ;-)

The press release has a photo of the actual lanternfly as it was found in the plant pot (dead, wings closed).

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Voting is closed. 2