Scouting for Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs

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Springtime temperatures keep the biological calendar moving right along. While the progression of blooms and the activity of insects aren't tied to specific dates on the calendar, but rather, it is a sequence of activity that aligns in the same order year after year. 


For example, first bloom of redbud (Cercis canadensis) and the hatch of spongy moth (Lymantria dispar), formally the gypsy moth, occur at the same time each year. Each biological event was monitored and growing degree day (GDD) units recorded to confirm the order and what events coincide with each other.


Seasonally, at the beginning of each month, a GDD summary is posted as a BYGL Alert, highlighting the previous months' year-to-date GDD accumulations in 21 Ohio cities.


Here are links to the 2024 GDD Summaries in BYGL:





As new insects are incorporated into the existing biological calendar, it is important to closely monitor the insect - including egg hatch through adult activity. In addition to the insects, it is also important to observe plants too - what is approaching first bloom, in first bloom, and in full bloom. By observing both plants and insects, and checking out the GDD accumulation, we can make sure the biological calendar is spot on! 


Speaking of spots - we need your help monitoring the spotted lanternfly! 


If you are in an area where the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is known to exist and where egg masses are present, we are encouraging people to monitor for first hatch across the buckeye state in infested counties. You may ask - what counties have known populations? Check out the map below. 



ODA SLF Quarantine Map, November 2023



SLF nymphs hatch from egg masses that were laid last season by the female adult SLF. Eggs masses can be laid on nearly any surface. While removing egg masses is a management option, the location of the egg masses can make it difficult to remove them all.


Below is a photo of newly hatched 1st instar nymphs of SLF. If you look closely, many of the SLF nymphs are on an egg mass. 



1st Instar Nymphs on Egg Mass



First instar nymphs are black with white spots and approximately 1/4" long. While they don't have wings at this stage, they do jump! 



Spotted Lanternfly Nymph



Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs



Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs on Sticky Bands



The nymphs go through four instars, the first three stages are black with white spots, and the fourth stage is red with black and white markings. You can see both black and white nymphs, and red, black and white nymphs. 


Multiple SLF Nymph Stage


If you observe SLF, we would like you to report what you are seeing. Reports can be made using the Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN) App, or using the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Online Pest Reporter. 

GLEDN, Android Version -

GLEDN, iPhone Version -

ODA, Pest Reporter -


Happy SLF monitoring and reporting and stay tuned to BYGL for seasonal SLF updates.