It Won’t Be Long Now

Red nymph stage of the spotted lanternfly, Pittsburgh, 13 July 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

14 July 2023

Back in the ‘Burgh from our trip to Cape Cod, the first thing I noticed in my neighborhood was a troop of red nymph spotted lanternflies crawling on walls and sidewalks near an ailanthus tree — their host tree, a.k.a Tree of Heaven.

Red nymphs are the fourth and final instar in spotted lanternfly development.

Spotted lanternfly life cycle (image from Wikimedia Commons)

When the adult is ready to emerge, the red nymph stands motionless while the adult body pokes its head out and molts the red nymph exoskeleton. Penn State Extension describes lanternfly stages and has a photo of the adult emerging here.

I don’t know how long the red nymph stage lasts but I’m sure we’ll soon see large flying(!) spotted lanternflies.

It won’t be long now. 🙁

For tips on how to control them, see my June article, Outsmart Spotted Lanternflies, and Penn State’s Extension educators explain spotted lanternfly life cycle, offer management tips

(photos by Kate St. John and from Wikimedia Commons)

5 thoughts on “It Won’t Be Long Now

  1. My favorite comment was from Howard Tobias on Facebook: We should teach the birds to eat them. Tramping on them is like trying to empty the ocean with a spoon.

  2. Killed about a dozen nymphs on the wall behind the Carnegie Science Center today. It’s only a drop in the bucket, but at least it keeps a few more adults from emerging and reproducing.

  3. Saw my first ever stage 4 nymphs July 19 in my Highland Park backyard. Reported it to PA Dept of Ag for what that’s worth.

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