Asian Longhorn Beetle (Anoplophora glabripemis)
The Asian Longhorn Beetle (also known as the Starry Sky Beetle) has the capacity to destroy most hardwood tree species. Positive sightings have confirmed that the beetle has arrived in England & Wales, probably within wood packing materials from China. The beetle has been added to the list of prohibited pests on 14/1/99 and any sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission.
The adults are active between May and October; they are approximately 25mm (1 inch) long, shiny black with white markings. They feed on twig bark.
The female chews a small hole into the tree and lays her eggs under the bark. The larvae initially feed on the bark and then bore into the heartwood. The beetles then exit the tree through an emergence hole of around 10mm in diameter.
This beetle has caused extensive damage in North America and thousands of mature trees have been lost. It is essential that any occurrences in the UK are spotted, reported and eradicated.
Contact the Forestry Commission if you spot one.
Forestry Commission Forest Research Tel: 01420 22255
Photographs courtesy of James E Appelby, University of Illinois.