The Asian longhorned beetle is a highly destructive, invasive pest that kills maple, birch, elm, willow and other hardwood trees. Since August is Tree Check Month, people are encouraged to keep an eye out for this invader that is known to be in Ohio, New York, Massachusetts and Ontario. Reporting sightings or signs of this pest can help prevent widespread tree loss in Michigan.
A native of China and Korea, the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) is considered an invasive species in the United States. Adult beetles have bullet-shaped bodies from 3/4 inch to 1-1/2 inches long. This beetle is shiny black with white spots and long, black-and-white-striped antennae. Its legs and feet may be bluish in color.
A similar beetle native to Michigan is often mistaken for the Asian longhorned beetle.
The white spotted pine sawyer (Monochamus scutellatus) has a distinctive white spot below the base of its head – between the tops of its wing covers. This, and it being brown or dull black in color, distinguishes the sawyer from the Asian longhorned beetle.
Anyone who sees Asian longhorned beetle or its signs or symptoms is asked to report it. If you can capture the insect, look to see if it has a spot between the top of its wing covers – if so, it likely is a white spotted pine sawyer. If not, place the insect in a jar and freeze it. Take photos, note the location and report it as soon as possible by email to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at MDA-info@michigan.gov, by phone to 800-292-3939 or online to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network at misin.msu.edu.
Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources