Another Invasive Species in PA

“Now, for the quarantine you probably didn’t hear about: 5 Pennsylvania townships and 2 boroughs are on high alert after the state Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of an invasive insect that threatens its grape vines, fruit trees and logging industry.

The Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is about one inch long and a half-inch wide, and is native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam. The insect uses its “piercing and sucking mouthparts” to drain stems of sap while at the same time excreting a lot of liquid, leading to mold growth that can harm or even kill the plants. It’s described as a weak flyer but a “strong and quick jumper,” and it’s done some serious damage in Korea, where it was introduced in 2006; it’s since attacked some 25 plant species that can also be found in Pennsylvania.”  from http://www.salon.com/2014/11/10/the_u_s_has_a_brand_new_invasive_insect_to_watch_out_for/?source=newsletter

Invasive species can be devestating for the new area.  They can be plants, animals, insects, birds, or even pathogens.

The West Nile virus is an example of a pathogen.

Many of the problems have come into new ares by accident.  International travel and shipping are the source of so many intruders.  Insects and plant life are stowaways in containers, and food and animals may be brought home as an innocent mistake.

Some invasive species are introduced on purpose, especially in historic times.

In Hawaii there is the issue of feral pigs mentioned here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasive_species_in_Hawaii

“The feral pig is also a major threat to Hawaii’s natural ecology. Feral pigs that were originally released or escaped from farms have been breeding in the wild and creating a large population of wild pigs in Hawaii. They have major impacts on the ecology because they are very destructive of plants and habitat and lack predators. Their burrowing patterns also destroy bird nesting grounds and lead to erosion . These burrows also create standing pools of feces infested water that serve as ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Many native Hawaiian birds are dying because of diseases transmitted by increasing numbers of mosquitoes.”

North American problems are listed here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_invasive_species_in_North_America.

A plant example is Kudzu.  It looks beautiful, but is killing all the native vegatation underneath the leaves.

Kudzu Pueraria montana Old infestation draped on killed trees in July – James H. Miller USDA, Forest Service Invasive.org. Caption and photo from http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/kudzu.shtml

Species like this fish from China, eat the native species and take over the environment.

Native to China, the northern snakehead�found in recent years in Maryland ponds and the Potomac River�is distinguished by its small head, large mouth, big teeth, and ability to wriggle across land. The fish, which grows up to 40 inches (100 centimeters) long and can weigh up to 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms), is a voracious feeder. It can decimate native fish stocks in North American waters. The fish can survive for several days out of water. photo and captain from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/6/photogalleries/invasive/

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