Virginia Tech® home

Possible Spotted Lanternfly Adult Look-alikes in Virginia



Authors as Published

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


The adult spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), has a very distinctive appearance with black spots and bars on the upper wings (Fig. 1) and red, black, and white markings on the hindwings (Fig. 2). Adults measure about 1” long and 0.5” wide. A few other insects in Virginia have similar colors and/or distinctive markings, but a closer look reveals that the invasive spotted lanternfly is easily recognizable from these other possible look-alike insects (Figs. 3-9). Sizes are not to scale.

An adult spotted lanternfly rests on a leaf.
Figure 1. Adult spotted lanternfly (T. Dellinger, Virginia Tech).
An adult spotted lanternfly spreads its wings fully.
Figure 2. Adult spotted lanternfly (E. Day, Virginia Tech).
An adult tiger moth
Figure 3. Harnessed tiger moth (Mark Dreiling,
An adult tiger moth with expanded wings.
Figure 3. Harnessed tiger moth (Mark Dreiling,
Figure 5, An adult bella moth rests on a fresh leaf.
Figure 5. Bella moth (Eddie McGriff, University of Georgia,
An adult moth with wings curled around its body.
Figure 6. Ailanthus webworm (David Cappaert,
A hairy adult buck moth with its wings fully expanded.
Figure 7. Buck moth (Gerald J. Lenhard, Louisiana State University,
An adult giant leopard moth rests on a piece of wood.
Figure 8. Giant leopard moth (Sturgis McKeever, Georgia Southern University,
Figure 9, An adult oak treehopper rests on a twig.
Figure 9. Oak treehopper (Larry R. Barber, USDA Forest Service,


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.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law

Publication Date

March 2, 2023