In September 2021, one boy’s blue ribbon-winning 4H project at the Kansas State Fair made national news. The exhibit included a colorfully-spotted, inch-long, moth-like insect that immediately attracted the attention of entomologists. The insect, which the boy had found on his front porch, was a spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula).
Native to Asia, this species was discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014 and is considered a harmful invasive in the United States, causing much stress to plants, gardeners, foresters, and farmers. Although it is firmly established in the northeastern United States, the 4H exhibit was the first time entomologists had noted the spotted lanternfly’s existence so far west. [Read more…] about Spotted Lanternfly: A Primer