Asian Longhorned Beetle

by Lexi Dean, Animal Sciences major

Anoplophora glabripennis, also known as the Asian longhorned beetle, is an invasive species native to Asia. These beetles are notorious for destroying many hardwood forests. The species was first discovered in the United States in 1996 in New York City.

The beetles target species of maple from the Norway maple, silver maple, sugar maple, sycamore maple to boxelder trees in New York City. They target the trees for food and habitat for mating.Once the beetle larvae emerge they eat the bark of twigs and they mate on the branches and trunks. The female eats through the bark and usually lays one egg ranging from 5-7 millimeters long. The females lay about 25 to 40 eggs in their lifespan. The eggs then in turn hatch in one to two weeks. Full grown larvae reach 50 millimeters in length. Once they hatch the eat in the cambial region of the tree and then the enter the center wood. They tunnel upward for 10 to 30 centimeters. The females usually lay their eggs in the months from July to early November. The mating and eating of the tree ultimately destroys it.

These beetles can fly up to several hundred meters in order to find a new host and can live for more than forty days. Beetles can be accidentally moved around by arborists and people who sell firewood. The beetles probably came from Asia and China on infested wooden packing materials.  Asian longhorned beetles will use healthy trees, stressed tress and or recently cut logs to eat and use for mating purposes. Many trees and forests that have been infected with the Asian long horn beetle have to be replanted and closely watched. There are no U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved pesticides which effectively control the Asian long horned beetle. They do have new rules saying that all solid wood packing material from China has to be heat treated, fumigated, or treated with preservatives.

Haack, Robert A, Kenneth R. Law, Victor C. Mastro, H S. Ossenbruggen, and Bernard J. Raimo. “New York’s Battle with the Asian Long-Horned Beetle.” Journal of Forestry. 95.12 (1997): 11. Print.

This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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