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Michigan officials add insect, plant to invasives watch list

The spotted laternfly and the Japanese chaff flower to the invasive species watch list.
Profile of spotted lanternfly adult at rest. Note the wings are held tent-like over the back of the insect. Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan officials are sounding the alarm about an exotic insect and a flower that would pose risks to agriculture and the environment if they reach the state.

The Department of Natural Resources has added the spotted lanternfly and the Japanese chaff flower to the invasive species watch list.

The lanternfly is native to China and has been spotted in Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia and Pennsylvania. It sucks sap from stems and leaves of more than 70 plants and crops including grapes, apples, hops and hardwood trees.

The Japanese chaff flower has turned up in nine states along the Ohio River and a tributary, the Big Sandy River. It grows up to 6 feet high and displaces native plants by forming large, dense stands in floodplains, forested wetlands and disturbed habitats.

Japanese Chaff Flower. Photo courtesy of State of Michigan / Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

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