Asian Long-Horned Beetle

Anoplophora glabripennis

Physical Appearance

These are very large insects with bodies ranging from 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5–4 cm) in length and antennae which can be as long as four inches (10 cm). They are shiny black with about 20 white spots on each wing cover and long antennae conspicuously banded black and white. These beetles can fly, but generally only for short distances, which is a common limitation for Cerambycidae of their size and weight. The upper sections of the legs of the adults are whitish-blue. Anoplophora glabripennis can be distinguished from related species by the markings on the wing covers and the pattern of the antennae.

Habitat

Adults are drawn to recently felled, stressed, or apparently healthy hardwood trees. Hosts include healthy maple, horse chestnut, birch, Rose of Sharon, poplar, willow, elm, locust, mulberry, chinaberry, apple, cherry, pear, and citrus trees. It may also attack other species of hardwood trees. In addition, nursery stock, logs, green lumber, firewood, stumps, roots, branches, and debris of a half an inch or more in diameter are subject to infestation. This beetle is only established in areas surrounding New York City and Chicago but has been intercepted in wooden crates and packing material originating from China at numerous sites around the country.
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Problems created by the species

Asian long-horned beetle gallery development and exit holes weaken the integrity of infested trees and can eventually result in death of severely infested trees. Larvae are considered to be the most dangerous because they tunnel in the cambial region of wood. Larvae feeding reduces wood quality. After a tree has been occupied by generations of the beetles, larval feeding can disrupt the tree's vascular tissues, encourage fungal growth, and cause structural weakness, any of which might kill the tree. Adult Asian long-horned beetles are considered to be of minor importance since they feed on twigs, foliage and occasionally on fruit-bearing trees. Asian long-horned beetle attack both healthy and stressed trees, of any size from potted to mature trees.

The Asian long-horned beetle is now one of the most destructive non-native insects in the United States; it and other wood-boring pests cause an estimated $3.5 billion in annual damages in the United States

Steps being taken to control this species

Over 30,000 trees have been cut down due to the Asian Long-Horned Beetle in the United States alone. Other steps being taken include:

  • Quarantines. Quarantines have been established around infested areas to prevent accidental spread of ALB by people.
  • Infested trees cut, chipped and burned. All infested trees are being removed, chipped in place, and the chips are being burned. The stumps of infested trees are ground to below the soil level. All tree removal is done by certified tree care personnel to ensure that the process is completed properly. New York and Chicago began this eradication process in 1997 with thousands of dollars in effort to complete the project.
  • Insecticide treatments. Research is underway to determine the effectiveness of certain insectisides such as imidacloprid against ALB. Insecticidal treatments have begun in New York and Chicago in hopes of preventing and containing infestations. Chicago's program of imidacloprid treatments for healthy trees of potential host species within a one-eighth to one-half mile (200–800 m) radius of infested trees successfully removed Illinois from quarantine in August 2006. As of December 2006, New Jersey's policy was to cut down all healthy trees of the potential host species within a one-eighth to one-quarter mile (200–400 m) radius of infested trees.
  • Extensive surveys. All host trees on public and private property located within an established distance from an infested area are surveyed by trained personnel. Infested areas are re-surveyed at least once per year for 3–5 years after the last beetle or infested tree is found.
  • Shipping restrictions. The use of Solid Wood Packing Materials (SWPM) for maritime shipping is regulated for adequate treatment methods at certain ports