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Research

When the Spotted Lanternfly was found in Pennsylvania, the scientific community engaged immediately. While observations were being made at the Pennsylvania site, existing literature on spotted lanternfly biology and control was reviewed. The USDA convened a technical working group which gathered experts to interpret available scientific information and to begin crafting a spotted lanternfly response for the United States. This technical working group included experts from throughout the country, with Pennsylvania scientists playing lead roles. A control plan was conceived, and a long list of research questions emerged.

Many groups and organizations are pulling together to find solutions to stop this new pest.  Early experiments by USDA research scientists included testing the effects of chipping woody material on spotted lanternfly egg mass survivorship, studying the effects of various pesticides on immature life stages, and evaluating the attractiveness of certain plant chemicals for use in trapping programs. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has provided technical expertise on egg mass survey techniques and assisted with the mapping of Ailanthus altissima. The PA Department of Environmental Protection has provided technical advice on chemical control options. Universities such as Penn State, Kutztown, University of Pennsylvania, Temple, Rutgers, University of Delaware, and others continue to work on projects related to Spotted Lanternfly control, non-target impacts, biology, and economic impact. 

A partial list of 2017/18 research projects appears below. This is not an exhaustive list, but includes many projects proposed by scientists and/or funded by USDA-APHIS and by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

​Research Project

​Project Status

​Lead Researchers

​Researcher Affiliation

​Egg Mass Treatment
​Scheduled
​Lewis
​USDA
​Lure and Trap Development - Develop attractants produced by either plants (kairomones) or insects (pheromones); includes studies in US and China
​Field Trials/ production
​Cooperband, Francese
​USDA
​Subsonic attraction, Develop attractant/repellant
​Proposed
​Urban
​PSU
​Cantharadin Implications
​Complete:  UPenn Results negative for Cantharadin;  Japanese and US both indicate NEGATIVE
​Murphy, Cooperband
​UPenn, USDA
E-DNA detection development
​Proposed
​Valintin, Fonseca, Lockwood
​Rutgers
Ag-Economic Impact Study, Project economic impact to ag crops within the quarantine area and then to PA
​In Process
​Harper
​PSU
Novel genetic markers, ID of origin of PA invasion and to help determine size of population

​In Process
​Urban
​PSU
​Bacterial and fungal associates of SLF, Determine bacterial and fungal communities in SLF salivary glads and proboscis

​In Process
​Urban
​PSU
Bacterial and fungal associates of SLF on host material, Determine effects of honeydew and sooty mold 

​In Process
​Urban
​PSU
​Efficacy Studies of Insecticides for Tree Fruit
​In Process
​Biddinger, Urban, Leskey
​PSU, USDA
Efficacy Studies of Insecticides for Ornamentals
​In Process
​Mason, Walsh, Urban
​PSU
Impacts of Feeding on Ornamentals
​In Process
​Mason, Urban, Hoover
​PSU
Impacts of Feeding on Grape
​In Process
​Smyers, Urban, Centinari
​PSU
​Seasonal Changes in Behavior of Adult SLF,Sex Ratios and Seasonal Trends, Reproductive Biology
​In Process
​Cooperband, Baker
​PSU, USDA
Dispersal Behavior of Flying SLF
​Scheduled
​Cooperband, Baker
​PSU
​Grapes and Tree Fruit, Biology, Management and Slowing spread of SLF
​Proposed 
​Urban
​PSU
Verticillium for Ailanthus Control
​Meeting held between PSU, VA Tech
​Davis, Weeks, Reardon 
​PSU, Virginia Tech, University of Florida, USDA
RNAi based Control for SLF
​Preliminary stages
​Palli, Urban, Dietrich
​University of Kentucky. PSU
Impact of Trap Trees on Pollinators
​Preliminary results-write up pending
​Underwood 
​Kutztown/PSU
​Fungal Pathogens of SLF Study
​In process
​Hajek
​Cornell
APP development- Counting SLF on Tree Bands
​In Process
​Hughes
​PSU
Integrative Approach to model, predict and control the Spotted Lanternfly invasion meltdown in PA
​In Process
​Helmus
​Temple
Efficacy Studies of Insecticides for Grape
​Scheduled
​Biddinger, Leach, Urban
​PSU
Grape Grower Damage Assessment and Needs Assessment
​Scheduled
​Leach, Centinari, Urban
​PSU
Impacts of Feeding and Tree Defenses in Hardwoods
​In Review

​PSU
Spotted Lanternfly interactions with woody ornamental host plants, host suitability
​In Review
​Hoover, Urban, Mason
​PSU
Evaluating Multi-trophic interactions (Host plants, endosymbionts, parasitoids) and equipping scientists to better understand SLF biology in PA (parasitoid detection, phenology of reproductive development & endosymbiont disruption, rubidium tracking, phloem monitoring in SLF feeding)
​Scheduled
​Biddinger, Urban, Mason, Lopez-Uribe
​PSU
Trap Trees and Insecticide Efficacy
​In Process
​Lewis
​USDA
​New Treatment Studies
In Process
​Lewis
​USDA
​Biological Control and Foreign Field Studies
In Process
​Gould
​USDA
​SLF Rearing and Artificial Diet
In Process
​Nadel
​USDA
​Host Plant Suitability Studies
In Process
​Cooperband, Leskey
​USDA
Insecticide Treatments
In Process
​Several pesticide companies