Asian Longhorned Beetle Pose Serious Threat

Well, maybe this should be “Know your unnatural neighbors.”

The Asian Longhorned Beetle is a serious threat to trees in New England. It has been found in New York City, Long Island, and Chicago. This insect kills trees. Maple trees are its favorite host. Almost 7,000 trees have been cut down in the infested areas to eradicate it.





The beetle is easy to recognize. It is large (.75 to 1.5 in. long), shiny black beetle with white spots and very long black and white banded antennae. Adults can be seen from late spring to fall depending on the climate. Females chew through the bark down to the cambium/phloem interface with the xylem, and then turn around and inject an egg (one egg per oviposition niche or site) into the tree, creating a visible oviposition scar on the surface of the tree. Eggs sites are oval or round wounds in the bark (up to 0.5 inch diameter). The early stages of the larvae feed between the xylem and the phloem, the later stages feed only on the xylem. Mature larvae reach 2.0 inches in length. The larvae then enter the pupal stage. The pupae are 1.25 inches long. The adults later emerge and bore their way out of the tree.

Eradication of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from the United States is the goal of the US Department of Agriculture and other cooperating state organizations where this exotic pest has been found infesting trees.

Several research projects have been initiated to improve survey and detection methods that enhance the chance of successful eradication. Should eradication prove unfeasible however, management strategies are also being investigated. In addition, the potential impact of ALB on the American landscape is being evaluated, including the specific host range of this exotic pest in the United States.

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