50,000 Spotted Lanternfly Wings

My friend at Penn State Lehigh Valley was recently involved in creating a very interesting and epic art piece that showcased 50,000 Spotted Lanternfly (Pennsylvania's newest and "hottest" invasive) wings.

For those that are unfamiliar, the SLF arrived to the USA by accident in 2014. This planthopper lays its eggs on the barks of trees, rocks and other smooth surfaces. Since then, this invasive has spread like wildfire throughout the area, entering many different counties and states. It will inevitably keep spreading despite the massive efforts to squash, collect or spray them. They pose a huge economic threat due to their feeding preferences - preferring grapevines, fruit trees, other agricultural plants, and hardwood trees whenever their host plant "Tree of Heaven" (Ailanthus altissima) is absent. Because they're a new invasive with bright red coloration, they lack natural predators - although native birds and insects are seemingly catching on.

Regardless, this art project at PSLV engaged the community through various events, ultimately educating local residents about the dangers of the pest while allowing them to help create cool art.

In total, this display of 50,000 SLF wings removed 12,500 insects from the local environment (each insect has 4 wings). If we assume a 50:50 ratio of male:female, 6,250 females were removed. Based on the low and high end of the egg-laying-range for females, it is estimated that this project prevented between 260,000 and 650,000 eggs from hatching next spring. A creative (and beautiful) way to stop these pests from spreading.

Here are some pictures of the final displays:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/36706300

Publicado por conboy conboy, 16 de dezembro de 2019, 05:43 PM

Comentários

Wonderful! :)

It's been particularly interesting watching the spread of these insects through the iNat observations. Well done to all involved!

Publicado por sambiology cerca de 2 anos antes (Sinalizar)

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