European Paper Wasp

Scientific Name: Polistes dominula

Family: Vespidae

Native Range: Europe. Invasive in North America, Pennsylvania

Size: Male wing length: 9.5 – 13.0 mm (0.37 to 0.51 in); Females wing length: 8.5 – 12.0 mm (0.33 to 0.47 in)

Active: Over-wintering queens begin nest building in early spring and start laying eggs in early March or April. Nests disperse in late summer. Founder queens and males overwinter.

Color and Appearance: Black and yellow


Asian Tiger Mosquito

Scientific Name: Aedes albopictus

Family: Culicidae

Native Range: Asia, Introduced North America, Pennsylvania

Size:  2 to 10 mm (0.08 – 0.39 in)

Active: Summer – fall, daytime as well as dawn and dusk

Color and Appearance: Notable black and white markings especially stripes on legs


Sparrow, House

Scientific Name: Passer domesticus

Family: Passeridae

Native Range: Europe and Asia, introduced into North America and Pennsylvania

Size: Length: 14 to 18 cm (5.5 to 7.1 in); Wingspan:

Active: Year-round resident

Field Markings: “Breeding male has black bill, bib, and lores; chestnut eye stripes, nape, back, and shoulders; Winter male less patterned; Female has brown back, streaked with black; buffy eyestripe; and unstreaked grayish breast.” (Alderfer p. 260-261)


Spotted Lanternfly

Scientific Name: Lycorma delicatula

Family: Fulgoridae

Native Range: INVASIVE: China, India, Vietnam and eastern Asia



Color and Appearance: EWWW!

August 12, 2020: I found my first spotted lanternfly in Delaware County at the Wawa at the corner of Providence Rd. and Baltimore Pike in September, 2018. This spring we found their nymphs in our yard on the basswood and the adults began appearing in my yard in late July. So far, I have found adults on the basswood, the sweet birch, and the redbud. They also seem to like the screen of the sliding glass door. In a year of stress and pandemic, squishing them has become a local past-time and an important release for pent up frustration. It is especially popular among children who have otherwise been taught not to squish bugs.


Japanese Beetle


Burning Bush

Scientific Name: Euonymus alatus

Height: 9-11 ft

Spread: 9-11 ft

Bloom Time: May-June

Native Range: China, Japan, and Korea

Ecological Value: INVASIVE. Summer nesting sites and cover for birds.

Human Value: Planted as an ornamental.


Butterfly Bush

Scientific Name: Buddleia sp.

Height: 6 – 12 ft.

Spread: 4 -15 ft.

Bloom Time: June – October

Native Range: China, Japan

Ecological Value: Provides nectar to pollinators. Potentially INVASIVE

Human Value: Buddleia cultivars have been developed that do not produce seeds. I received this plant from a fellow gardener whose garden had become too shady for it. I have never noticed that it self-seeded so it may be a non-fertile cultivar.

Buddleia blooms on new wood each year. The old wood tends to become leggy and less productive over time so I cut this plant back almost to the ground ever spring or every other spring. It produces blooms earlier on years when I don’t cut it back, but it also grows taller and larger.