Spotted Lantern, a threat to vineyards and fruit farms, approaching North Fork

The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Suffolk County issued an alert after a spotted lantern was identified near Ronkonkoma MacArthur Airport, about 45 miles from Southold.

The State Department of Agriculture and Markets released a report on the invasive leafhopper in late September, according to Daniel Gilrein, an entomologist at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Suffolk County. The cooperative extension issued a Facebook alert on November 2, noting that the state “determines the limits of the population.”

The spotted lantern fly – first found in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014 – was identified in western Suffolk County in September. The insect, although not dangerous for humans, feeds on the sap of plants and can pose a threat to fruit farms.

In large numbers, the insect is known to kill vines, although most other plants appear to be less severely affected, according to Gilrein.

Faruque Zaman, entomologist at the cooperative extension, noted that information continues to evolve “almost every day.” As of May 2021, the insect was feeding on at least 103 different plant species, he said.

Mr Zaman noted that the insect is of concern to tree fruit growers, especially apple growers, in the East End.

“Neither adults nor immatures feed directly on fruit, but large numbers of insects feeding on branches and branches can affect fruit quality and reduce production,” he said, adding that other host fruit trees include plum, cherry, peach and apricot. .

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