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Possible Spotted Lanternfly Egg Mass Look-alikes in Virginia



Authors as Published

Authored by Theresa A. Dellinger, Diagnostician, and Eric Day, Lab Manager, Insect Identification Lab, Entomology, Virginia Tech


Egg masses of the spotted lantern fly, Lycorma delicatula (White), are usually covered with a smooth tan to gray colored coating when fresh (Fig.1). This coating may crack and fall off with age, exposing eggs laid in vertical rows underneath (Fig. 2). Some egg masses are laid with only some or no covering at all. Here are a few other insect egg masses commonly found in Virginia to help you recognize those of the spotted lantern fly. Sizes are not to scale.

Figure 1, A spotted lanternfly egg mass on a tree trunk.
Figure 1. Spotted lanternfly egg mass (Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ,
Figure 2, Spotted lanternfly egg masses without their protective coverings. Some eggs show openings where the nymphs have emerged from the egg.
Figure 2. Spotted lanternfly egg mass without a covering and showing hatched eggs (Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ,
Figure 3, Egg masses of the spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) on a tree trunk.
Figure 3. Spongy moth (formerly gypsy moth) egg masses (Ward Upham, Karla Salp, Washington State Department of Agriculture,
Figure 4, An egg mass of the eastern tent caterpillar encircles a small twig.
Figure 4. Eastern tent caterpillar egg mass (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,
Figure 5, A fall cankerworm egg mass laid on a small branch.
Figure 5. Fall cankerworm eggs (PA Dept. of Cons. & Nat. Resources, Forestry,
Figure 6, A wheel bug egg mass with emerging nymphs.
Figure 6. Wheel bug eggs and newly hatched nymphs (Johnny N. Dell,
Figure 7, An egg mass of the Chinese praying mantis on a stem of dried grass.
Figure 7. Chinese mantis egg mass (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,
Figure 8, An egg mass of the Carolina mantid on a fresh plant stem.
Figure 8. Carolina mantid egg mass (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,


Contact your local Cooperative Extension office for more information about spotted lanternfly, or visit the Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia website at horticulture/spotted-lanternfly.html.


Theresa A. Dellinger, February 17, 2023.

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Publication Date

March 1, 2023