During the summer and fall of 2017 in northeastern Pennsylvania we studied the progression of adult behaviors of the spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae)when there was an upsurge in adult flight behavior that was not known to have occurred in 2015 or 2016, the first years following its initial detection in Pennsylvania in late 2014. Sex ratios on A. altissima trunks and branches were routinely ca. 50:50 male:female throughout the 2017 season except in two instances in two of the earliest samplings in which >60% were males. Within the first week after adult eclosion in 2017, in conjunction with extensive feeding-related behaviors on Ailanthus altissima tree trunks, short flights occurred indiscriminately from the foliage of one tree to another or between bushes, trees and vines. One week later these flights became more prevalent and lengthier. Adults of both sexes launched themselves into the wind from non-host trees or from porches, posts and other human-made structures to engage in level or gradually descending straight-line flight trajectories that allowed them to traverse only usually 10 to 40 m of ground in one episode. After the peak of flight dispersal had occurred, the first mating pairs were observed on September 25. All of the 21 pairs of adults we observed in copula exhibited swollen, yellow abdomens in contrast to the thinner, predominantly black abdomens of the adults we had sampled during the earlier feeding and flight phases. Copulating pairs were observed to remain coupled for 2 to 4 h.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science