Thursday, April 2, 2015

Asian Longhorn Beetle: is containment and eradication working?

The Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), native to eastern China, Japan, and Korea, was found in the U.S. 1996.  The first observation was on hardwood trees in Brooklyn, New York and is believed to have come into the U.S. on infested wood pallets and other wood packing material.  It was later found in Chicago, IL in 1998 and has since been detected in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Ohio.

Despite having wings and the ability to fly for up to 400 meters at a time, ALB tends to live on the same tree for its entire life.  ALB will fly to another tree only when the population on a tree becomes too dense.  The primary method of traveling tends to be when lumber and plant material is moved by humans.  As adults tend to only cause a small amount of damage to trees by feeding on leaves and twigs, the larvae tunneling and feeding on the vascular tissues are considered the cause for tree decline and ultimate death.  ALB can feed on a variety of trees including maples, elm, horsechestnut, willow, sycamore and birch.

Areas where ALB is found are put under quarantine and moving plant material, especially lumber and firewood, is regulated.  The Ohio Department of Agriculture has quarantined 61 square miles around the infestation discovered in Clermont county and infested trees are removed.  ALB can cost a state billions of  dollars in lost timber, urban plantings, private property, and nursery stock; at least $2.5 billion worth of maple timber in Ohio.  It seems to be that quarantines and the treatment efforts are working, as in 2008, ALB was declared eradicated in Chicago, Illinois, and Hudson County, New Jersey and in 2011, it was declared eradicated from Islip, New York.

Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) by Melody Keena, USDA Forest Service,

On the quarantine efforts in Ohio: Longhorned beetle contained, still poses threat
USDA-APHIS information on ALB: Asian Longhorned Beetle
For information and reporting: Asian Longhorned Beetle
US Forest Service page on ALB: Asian Longhorned Beetle
For images of ALB: Forestry Images of Asian Longhorned Beetle
BugwoodWiki article: Anoplophora glabripennis