Asian Longhorned Beetle

Anoplophora glabripennis

Invader Images

    • Adult ALB with frass
      Adult ALB with frass
    • Exit hole
    • Adults have long, black and white banded antennae
    • Tunnels created by ALB larvae
    • ALB Frass
    • Oviposition site (where female deposits egg)

Common Look-alikes

    • White-spotted sawyer
      White-spotted sawyer

Identification

Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is an insect, with six legs and are approximately 1 to 1.5 inches in length. Adults have a shiny jet black body with distinctive white spots. They have long antennae (longer than their body) banded in black and white. They may have blueish feet.

ALB larvae can be up to 2.5 inches long. They are creamy white with no legs and have a hard brown plate on their head.

Signs and Symptoms 

  • Adult beetles emerge July - September 
  • Perfectly round, dime-sized exit holes - test with a pencil to see that they go deeper into the tree than a tap hole
  • Egg laying sites may ooze sap or be healed over and knot-like
  • Sawdust or frass in branch crotches and at the tree base
  • Dead or fallen branches

See image slideshow above for signs and symptoms.

Biology

origin

Native to East Asia. The first North American discovery of Asian longhorned beetle was in New York City in 1996. A large infestation was found in Worcester, MA, 45 miles from Vermont, in 2008.

habitat

ALB larvae tunnel deep into the trunk and branches of many hardwood species. When adults emerge, they feed on the leaves. ALB host species include: ash, birch, elm, golden raintree, sycamore, maple, horse chestnut, katsura, mimosa, mountain ash, poplar, and willow.

Lifecycle

There is one generation of ALB each year. Like other beetles, the ALB goes through 4 stages in its lifecycle.

Adult females chew out an egg niche in the bark of a living tree. She lays a single, tiny egg, about 0.5mm long, oval and white in color, on the inner bark. 

Eggs hatch in 1 to 2 weeks. 

Young larvae feed just below the bark for about 20 days in the cambium layer. Older larvae bore into the sapwood and heartwood of the trunk and branches, creating tunnels up to ½ inch in diameter, thereby structurally compromising the tree. Branches with tunnels are weakened and may break during windy weather, potentially causing property damage or personal injury.

Larvae overwinter in tunnels and resume feeding in spring. Mature larvae can reach a length of 2 inches.

Pupation occurs in late spring or early summer and adults may emerge from early to mid-summer.

Adults chew a perfectly round emergence hole, about the size of a dime, and exit the tree. Adult beetles feed on the bark and leaves, but this feeding causes little damage to the tree. 

Each adult female can lay up to 90 eggs in their lifetime.

Learn about the biology of Asian Longhorned Beetle at the USDA APHIS Asian Longhorned Beetle site

Ecological threat

The Asian longhorned beetle threatens our hardwood trees. It threatens recreation and forest resources (like maple syrup!) valued at billions of dollars. The ALB has the potential to cause more damage than Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight and gypsy moths combined.

Management Options

  • Because it may never spread to Vermont, no forest management changes are recommended in anticipation of this insect. Both the US and Canadian governments are attempting to eradicate Asian longhorned beetle. Following regular surveys, all infested trees, and some susceptible trees nearby, are removed. These strategies have been successful in Chicago, Boston, New Jersey, and parts of New York, where the beetle hasn’t been seen for years.
  • Don’t move firewood. Quarantines prohibit firewood movement out of known infested areas, but it can take years for an infestation to be detected. Many of the known infestations have been traced to firewood movement.
  • Since small, newly-discovered populations can be successfully eradicated, early detection is particularly important. Please report it if you think you have seen this insect, or have seen diagnostic signs on host tree species. 

Vermont Distribution

The Asian longhorned beetle has never been detected in Vermont.

Citations

Photo Credit

Joe Boggs, Ohio State University, Bugwood.org 

Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Michael Bohne, Bugwood.org

R. Anson Eaglin, USDA, Bugwood.org

William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, Bugwood.org

information credit

Canadian Food Inspection Agency ALB Page

Detecting the Signs and Symptoms of Asian Longhorned Beetle Injury

New York Invasive Species Information

USDA APHIS Asian Longhorned Beetle site

USDA Forest Service

USDA Hungry Pests