How Certain Climates Increase Spotted Lantern Fly Appearances in the Urban Landscape of NYC ​

Christian Rasmussen, Irene Tsesmetzis, Kristy Lee, and Selma Doganata​ researched the ecological effect of humidity and temperature on spotted lanternflies in NYC. The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect species that originates from China. They excrete a sap that damages the photosynthesis process of plants, making them a threat to the agricultural sector. In this study, we used iNaturalist observation data and standardized weather climate data to find a potential correlation between humidity levels and spotted lanternflies observations. Our results showed that spotted lanternflies were typically observed on days with temperatures between 70 to 80 degrees fahrenheit and with dew points of 60 to 70 degrees fahrenheit. Most spotted lanternflies were observed from humidity levels around 50% to 80%. We found a negative correlation of -0.01 between humidity levels and spotted lanternfly observations. Because this amount is small, our research suggests there was not a correlation between humidity levels and spotted lanternfly observations. These results are possibly due to the nature of the data collection, which presents possible biases. We hope to address these biases in future versions of this study, and believe further research in the area of humidity and spotted lanternflies can give us a better understanding of spotted lanternfly behavior.

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