The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has identified two invasive species as new threats to Michigan.

The Michigan DNR has added the two species to Michigan's invasive species watch list. Both species have been found in the Midwest and are spreading, but neither has been found in Michigan to this point.

Spotted Lanternfly

Photo courtesy Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, via Michigan DNR

The spotted lanternfly is native to China and India. They have been found in Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia. It is also known to be spreading through eastern Pennsylvania.

It looks cool, but we don't want it. The spotted lanternfly can suck sap from the stems and leaves of more than 70 plants and crops including grapes, apples, hops, walnuts and other hardwood trees. It's easy to understand how it could be devastating to Michigan

How to identify spotted lanternflys from egg to maturity:

  • Though spotted lanternflies cannot fly long distances, they lay eggs on nearly any smooth surface, including cars, trailers and outdoor furniture. Freshly laid eggs have a gray, waxy, putty-like coating, while hatched eggs look like rows of brownish, seed-like deposits.
  • Nymphs are wingless and beetle-like, with black and white spots, developing red patches as they mature. Adults are roughly 1 inch long. Their folded wings are gray to brown with black spots. Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen and hind wings that are bright red with black spots transitioning to black and white bands at the edge.

Japanese Chaff Flower

Photo courtesy Chris Evans, University of Illinois, via Michigan DNR

The Japanese chaff flower is native to East Asia. It is currently is found along the Ohio and Big Sandy rivers in nine states including Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The Japanese chaff flower grows up to 6 feet tall. Deer eat the plant. Seeds are spread by attaching to animals and clothing. The invasive plant can displace native plants by growing in floodplains and forested wetlands.