The Cradle of Liberty Conservation Committee is working with a team of researchers from Penn State to study the movement of the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) through our forests. Penn State has established a plot on the Musser Scout Reservation to conduct this study.
This is one of 4 studies on the Spotted Lanternfly being conducted at Musser this year!
WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO ASSIST WITH THIS STUDY
The study plot is located near the Maxwell cabin. It’s a 50-meter radius circle plot with 12 lines radiating from the center. Each line is flagged every 5 meters.
Figure 1 Setting up the study plot
The team will release marked SLF larvae at the center of the plot. These were raised in a greenhouse at Penn State and marked with a fluorescent marking. That marking will glow when a UV light or laser is shined on them at night. Since they clearly show up when illuminated by the UV light it’s easy to count the number seen.
Those counts will be done twice a week for several weeks. Once the first release matures and grows into the next stage (called an instar), the second release of marked SLF instars will be made. This second release will have marked members that were raised at Penn State and allowed to grow into the next stage. This process is repeated until the adult hatch is released.
Counts will occur twice a week throughout the summer and into the fall. Currently, we have dates through June. See the schedule below
What will the volunteers do?
Each count will require 6 volunteers to assist the research team. They may hold the lights, record data and/or count bugs. Volunteers will be trained by the researchers for each task. When night counts are held, we’ll meet at the Nelson Training Center around 7:30 pm (approximately an hour before sunset so the time will shift) to organize and review safety procedures. We expect counts to require 2 to 3 hours each time so we’ll be done by 11 pm.
What will volunteers need?
Suitable clothing for a night hike
Willingness to follow directions
Able to write neatly
Preferably able to make multiple visits to assist with counts.
When are Volunteers needed?
The specific schedule depends on how fast or slow the SLF instars grow. Each release is 2000 bugs that all grow on their own schedule. Tentatively Dr. Hoover, the lead researcher for this study has estimated this schedule [ links to a Google Calendar]. These dates may change.
Each count needs 6 volunteers. Dr. Hoover and the team will train the volunteers and provide all the safety equipment and training needed.
How can I sign up to be a Volunteer?
Want to help research on the SLF? We still need some volunteers for the night time counts at Musser Scout Reservation. Open dates are 6/11, 6/17 and 6/20.