Ministry of Agriculture

Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) is a wood-borer that attacks healthy hardwood trees, such as maple, elm, poplar and willow. The only method of control is the destruction of infested trees. In the 1990's, Anoplophora was intercepted from wooden spools and other packing materials imported into Canada. Extensive surveys in both Canada and the USA revealed the presence of live wood-boring insects in many wood items entering North America. In 1992 hundreds of Asian long-horned beetles were intercepted in wood from China in one shipping container. The cargo and dunnage were fumigated and the pest has not been established in B.C. Regulations limiting the movement of wood to Canada from China are now in effect.

Asian longhorned beetles are about 2.5 to 4 cm in length, are black and shiny with white spots, and have long antennae that are banded with black and white.

Asian longhorned beetle may be confused with the banded alder beetle (Rosalla funebris), white-spotted sawyer beetle (Monochamus scutellatus), or Oregon Fir Sawyer (Monochamus oregonensis) in British Columbia. Another invasive beetle, citrus longhorned beetle (Anoplophora chinensis), also from China, looks similar to Asian longhorned beetle.

Asian long-horned beetle Asian long-horned beetle.
Photo Credit: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ. Image 0949056. February 19, 2002.

The beetle causes damage to host trees by its wood-boring activity. The larvae feed within the trunk and limbs of trees; mature trees may be killed in one or two growing seasons. The adult beetles cause additional damage by feeding on leaves, bark and shoots. Since beetle larvae live deep inside trees for most of the year, they can easily and unknowingly be moved in firewood, live trees, or untreated lumber.

In China, Anoplophora glabripennis is known as the "starry sky beetle" and is considered a major pest of hardwood trees in many parts of the country. Based on the Chinese distribution and the recent North American infestations, it is estimated that the beetle would survive well in the hardwood forests of southern Canada.

The first report of this beetle being established outside of its native range was from the cities of Brooklyn and Amityville, New York in 1996. Many trees were found to be heavily attacked, particularly maples. Quarantine and eradication procedures were quickly implemented to prevent further spread and to eliminate the population. Infestations were also discovered in Chicago, Illinois in 1998.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed the introduction of Asian Longhorned beetle in Woodbridge and Toronto, Ontario in September 2003. The beetle was subsequently found in the area of Toronto – Vaughan. Efforts to eradicate the pest remain underway, and the infested area is now regulated to prevent the spread of the pest.

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Updated: Aug. 2008