Asian Longhorned Beetle
The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB, Anoplophora glabripennis) is a destructive wood-boring pest of maple and other hardwoods. ALB was first discovered on several hardwood trees in the United States in Brooklyn, New York, in August 1996. ALB is believed to have been introduced into the United States from wood pallets and other wood packing material accompanying cargo shipments from Asia. ALB was later detected in Chicago, Illinois, in July 1998. The Secretary of Agriculture declared an emergency in order to combat the infestation with regulatory and control actions. In October 2002, the beetle was found in Hudson County, New Jersey, and then in Middlesex and Union Counties, New Jersey, in August 2004. In August 2008, ALB was discovered in Worcester County, Massachusetts, and in July 2010, ALB was found in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Most recently, ALB was confirmed in Clermont County, Ohio, in June 2011.
In 2008, after the completion of control and regulatory activities, and following confirmation surveys, ALB was declared eradicated in Chicago, Illinois, and Hudson County, New Jersey. Similarly, in 2011, ALB was declared eradicated from Islip, New York.
The Asian Longhorned Beetle is classified in the wood boring beetle family, Cerambycidae. Adults are 1 to 1 ½ inches in length with long antennae and are shiny black with small white markings on the body and antennae ( see Identifying the Asian Longhorned Beetle). After mating, adult females chew depressions into the bark of various hardwood tree species (see Hosts (PDF; 22 Kb) in which they lay (oviposit) their eggs.
Once the eggs hatch, small white larvae bore their way through the bark into the tree, feeding on the sensitive vascular layer beneath. The larvae continue to feed deeper into the tree's heartwood forming tunnels, or galleries, in the trunk and branches. This damage weakens the integrity of the tree and will eventually kill it if the infestation is severe enough.
Over the course of a year, a larva will mature and then pupate near the surface, under the bark. From the pupa, an adult beetle emerges, chewing its way out of the tree; forming characteristic round holes approximately 3/8ths of an inch in diameter. Many of these holes will appear on a heavily infested tree frequently accompanied by frass (sawdust) and sap oozing from the holes. The emergence of beetles typically takes place from June through October with adults then flying in search of mates and new egg-laying sites to complete their life cycle.
The tree species preferred as hosts by the Asian Longhorned Beetle are hardwoods including several maple species (Norway, sugar, silver, and red maple), box elder, horsechestnut, buckeye, elm, London plane, birch, and willow.
The Asian Longhorned Beetle's native range includes China and Korea. Information on the distribution of the current infestations in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts can be found in the Maps section.