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Asian Longhorned Beetle
Asian Longhorned Beetle   Asian Longhorned Beetle Damage

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is a large black beetle native to China, with unique white spots on its abdomen and antennae.  Sometimes its legs have a bluish color.  It seems to prefer maple trees, but has been found to damage many more tree species.  ALB are pretty big for an insect, an adult can grow to be up 1-1.5 inch long, with antennae up to three inches in length!  In spite of its size, the majority of its life cycle happens inside of trees, making it hard to detect.  Eggs are laid on the bark of trees.  After hatching, larvae burrow into the tree and create galleries under the bark by eating the xylem and phloem. Then it bores deeper into the tree to pupate.  Finally the adult chews its way out of the tree, leaving a characteristic dime sized round exit hole.  All of this can happen high up in the crown of the tree, making it difficult to find new infestations until trees begin to die. 
ALB infestations have been found in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, and most recently in Ohio.  ALB usually spread when people accidentally take them somewhere new, especially in firewood. Check out this website to find out more about the ALB, where it is, and what you can do if you think you have found one.

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