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Possible Spotted Lanternfly Immature Look-alikes in Virginia



Authors as Published

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


Immature spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), are black with white spots when young (Fig. 1). They turn red and black with white spots when older (Fig. 2). A few other insects in Virginia have similar color patterns and/or distinctive markings, but a close look will show that immature spotted lanternflies are easily recognizable from these other possible look-alike insects (Figs. 3-9). Sizes are not to scale.

Figure 1, A young spotted lanternfly nymph climbs a plant stem.
Figure 1. Young spotted lanternfly nymph (Emilie Swackhamer, Penn State University,
A mature spotted lanternfly nymph rests on a branch.
Figure 2. Mature spotted lanternfly nymph (Lawrence Barringer, PA Dept of Ag,
A wheel bug nymph climbs over a plant.
Figure 3. Wheel bug nymph (Ward Upham, Kansas State University,
Figure 4. Assassin bug nymph (Susan Ellis,
Numerous striped plant bug nymphs are clustered on a twig.
Figure 5. Oak treehopper nymphs (Southern Forest Insect Work Conference,
A stink bug nymph with spots rests on a leaf.
Figure 6. Southern green stink bug nymph (Herb Pilcher, USDA ARS,
A brown marmorated stink bug nymph with banded markings on the antennae and legs.
Figure 7. Brown marmorated stink bug nymph (Susan Ellis,
Immature boxelder bugs cluster around an adult on a tree trunk.
Figure 8. Boxelder bug nymphs and adults (William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International,
Immature milkweed bugs cluster around adults on a milkweed pod.
Figure 9. Milkweed bug nymphs and adults (Marilyn Sallee,
An adult harlequin bug on a cabbage leaf.
Figure 10. Harlequin bug (Russ Ottens, University of Georgia,


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


Theresa A. Dellinger, February 17, 2023.

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Publication Date

March 2, 2023