Research Assignment on Invasive Species: Asian Long-Horned Beetles
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The Asian long-horned beetle is an insect that first originated in China, Korea, and Japan(5) It is widely known for attacking many types of trees and destroying trees in rural, urban and suburban communities(³). We didn't want this beetle to invade North America, but through transportation(¹), this beetle found its way here and started to feed on our natural hardwood trees(4). If the Asian long-horned beetle is not stopped, we won't see any fall colours on the leaves of trees(²). Luckily though, there are certain ways to counteract the Asian long-horned beetle, so we can still fight off this pest.
The Asian long-horned beetle, also known as the "Starry Sky Beetle" and "Anoplophora Glabripennis" as its Latin name(¹), first originated in China, Korea, and Japan(5). They are large insects that are 20-35 mm in length and 7-12 mm wide. It is shiny black(¹) with six legs, long antennas with black and white stripes, metallic blue feet(³), and up to 20 white dots on its back(¹). In China, they live for 1-2 years depending on the place, and they are active from early summer to mid-fall(4). They lay eggs about 5-7 mm in length into the bark of the trees and they are fully developed by 1-2 weeks (if laid in summer) or several months (if laid in the fall) (²). The Asian long-horned beetle are borers (they love to feed and bore into wood) and phyllophagous (they like to feed on Phloem) and it feeds on many trees in its region(4). Soon, through transportation of wooden pallets, crates, or packaging materials used in shipping(¹), the Asian long-horned beetle made its way through parts of North America (New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Vaughan and Toronto), and begun feeding on our forest ecosystems(4).
The Asian long-horned beet...
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...leaf damage, egg-laying sites, oozing sap and sawdust(¹). Other ways to counteract the beetle is by not removing any restricted wood material from regulated areas, reporting any suspected sightings of adult Asian long-horned beetles or infested trees, and learning to recognize what Asian long-horned beetles and infested trees look like(²).
The Asian long-horned beetle is a major pest to our ecosystems. It feeds on hardwood trees, destroys tourism, poses a physical danger to pedestrians and more(³). But all hope is not lost as there are ways to counteract the Asian long-horned beetles such as burning or chipping the infected trees(¹). The best part is that since we did a good job taking action on these beetles, they were eradicated in all of Ontario on April, 5th,2013(²)! So now, we must be extra cautious, and make sure this pest never comes back here!