Spotted! A lanternfly!

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB321 class at Princeton University.

I was extremely excited to get to fold and use my own Foldscope, and I immediately knew that out of all the things I could pick up to examine on campus, I would want to look at a spotted lanternfly wing. I have been fascinated with the invasive spotted lanternflies since we learned about them a few weeks ago in lab, and I’ve enjoyed whacking them with a flyswatter all around campus for the past month or so. For ecological purposes, of course.

So I went straight to a tree, that I knew had a steady supply of flies.

I smushed a few live ones, for ecological purposes, of course. And then I found an already dead (non-smushed one) and took part of its wing for my slide sample.

When I looked through my Foldscope, I was excited to see that… the wing of a spotted lanternfly does indeed have spots!

But the bottom of the wing has another pattern I had never noticed, which looks like bricks, and is much smaller and subtler than the spots which stand out clearly.

I also looked at a very pretty red leaf! This picture is blurry, but the color is magnificent!

I was very happy to get to see a spotted lanternfly wing up close, and I’m excited to see what other fun patterns I can find on campus!

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