About the Spotted Lanternfly

About the Spotted Lanternfly

Life Stages

The Spotted Lanternfly’s physical appearance transforms throughout its life stages as it matures to adulthood. The pictures below illustrate the metamorphosis of each of the major life stages of the spotted lanternfly.



  • There are four nymphal instars.
  • The first three instars are black with white spots.
  • They grow from a few millimeters to appro. ¼ inch and have no wings.
  • They are strong jumpers to avoid capture or predators.
  • They appear in this stage beginning in May through July.
  • The fourth instars are approx. 1/2inch in size and bright red, covered in black stripes and white spots.
  • They are strong jumpers and will jump to avoid danger.
  • They appear in this stage from July through September.


  • The forewing is gray with black spots of varying sizes and the wing tips have black spots outlined in gray.
  • Adults can be seen starting in July until December.
  • Hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band.
  • The legs and head are black, and the abdomen is yellow with black bands.
  • Adult spotted lanternfly with wings open.  While the adults can fly, they generally prefer to hop/jump and glide exposing their hindwings.
  • Additionally, the hindwings are exposed when they are frightened or treated with an insecticide.

Egg Masses

  • Adult egg laying starts in September through December.
  • Egg masses can be seen from September to June.
  • While the adult Spotted Lanternfly does not survive the winter, the egg masses do.
  • Egg masses contain 30-50 eggs.
  • Females can lay up to two eggs masses.
  • An egg mass is approximately 1 inch in size.
  • Eggs are often laid on flat surfaces including tree bark, rocks, lawn furniture, firewood, boats, RV’s, pallets or anything left outdoors, which can be transported to new locations.
  • Research has shown that 80 to 90 percent of egg masses on trees are found 10 feet and above from the ground.
  • Freshly laid egg masses have a light gray mud-like covering the eggs.
  • Older egg masses change in color to a light tan resembling cracked mud.
  • Hatched egg masses lose the mud-like covering exposing individual eggs that look similar to seeds.

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Ref: https://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/pests-diseases/spotted-lanternfly/about/


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