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Predators

Predation of spotted lanternfly is occurring in the wild, but not at levels high enough for dependable control.

Spotted lanternfly adult empty exoskeleton
Spotted lanternfly adult empty exoskeleton. Photo: NYSIPM Staff.
Spotted lanternfly adult being eaten by a praying mantis
Spotted lanternfly adult being eaten by a praying mantis. Photo: PennState Extension.
Spotted lanternfly adult caught in a spider's web
Spotted lanternfly adult caught in a spider's web. Photo: PennState Extension.
Spotted lanternfly being consumed by a predaceous bug
Spotted lanternfly being consumed by a predaceous bug. Photo: PennState Extension.

Parasitoids

The gypsy moth parasitoid, Ooencyrtus kuvanae, was introduced to the United States in 1908.  This tiny wasp played a part in controlling gypsy moth by laying its eggs in the eggs of gypsy moth, but has been found to also parasitize the egg masses of spotted lanternfly.  At this point in time populations in the quarantine zone are spotty and parasitism is fairly low at about 7% of available egg masses.

A very small wasp resting on the wing of an adult spotted lanternfly
Ooencyrtus kuvanae, the gypsy moth parasitoid, seen here on a wing of a spotted lanternfly. Photo: PennState Extension.

Researchers are exaimining two biocontrol agents found in China, that have evolved in tandem with the spotted lanternfly. The first, Anastatus orientalis, is an egg parasitoid, and the second, Dryinus sp. nr. browni, attacks second and third instar spotted lanternfly nymphs. Due to the presence of these parasitoids, spotted lanternfly in China is only a problem in years which favor population booms. It is hoped that by identifying and developing biocontrol agents, spotted lanternfly populations in the United States can be managed in future years without the current heavy reliance on insecticides.

First photo shows the side view of Anastatus orientalis, a parasitoid wasp. Second photo shows spotted lanternfly eggs with exit holes in them.
Anastatus orientalis, an egg parasitoid. Photo: Liu & Mottern (2017) J. Insect Sci.

Entomopathogenic Fungi

A fungal pathogen related to the one which helped control gypsy moth has also been found, and work is being done to identify and rear this fungus for use as a biocontrol. Research is being conducted at Cornell University to identify additional fungal pathogens for biocontrol of SLF. For example, early work by the Hajck lab at Cornell have found strains of Beauveria sp. attacking both nymphs and adults in Pennsylvania.

Spotted lanternfly adults showing the white infections of fungus
Spotted lanternfly adults in Pennsylvania, infected by fungi closely related to Entomophaga sp. Photo: PennState Extension.
Two views of a dead adult spotted lanternfly covered in fungus
Two views of a dead adult spotted lanternfly attacked by a fungus related to Beauvaria sp. Photo: NYSIPM Staff.
Two dead adult spotted lanternflies attacked by a fungus related to Beauvaria sp.
Two dead adult spotted lanternflies attacked by a fungus related to Beauvaria sp. Photo: NYSIPM Staff.