Asian Long-horned Beetle vs Whitespotted Pine Sawyer

Posted: May 26, 2015 in Yard and Garden

Yesterday we cut down a large pine tree mainly because it was seriously running into our house. The previous owners simply planted this tree way too close to the house. Each year, when the wind blew, the noise the branches produced increased and huge limbs were now over the top of our house.

Our father said, unfortunately, it was going to have to go. We did cut it down, and now we have a large cleanup job to do – but we noticed that after we cut it down, there were some odd looking insects that we hadn’t ever seen around our yard. We took a picture of it (and the felled tree) and went to identify it.

We did find out what the insect was, and the news wasn’t good. The bug, a beetle, as it turns out, is almost definitely an Asian Long-horned Beetle. These creatures are the cause of quite a lot of angst as it turns out.

They are a bonafide pest according to the USDA. In fact, they ask you to report any sighting of this beetle with pictures of any tree damage and hopefully the beetles in a jar.

Now that we know what they are, tomorrow we’re going to look for tree damage. One of the trees they like are sugar maples and we have three of these trees in our yard. They’re beautiful trees and we would hate to lose any of them. If we find any damage or any more beetles, we’ll report them since apparently they’re really destructive!

We found two websites with lots of information about this beetle, so we’re including them in case you want to read more about the beetle. Article 1, Article 2.

Wait a minute – we just read about an Asian long-horned beetle look-a-like called a Whitespotted sawyer and on second thought, we think this is the beetle which we saw. Anyway, we are still going to check things out tomorrow and make a positive identification 🙂

Wait another minute – we are 99% positive we saw a Whitespotted pine sawyer because these beetles hang out in conifers. Hmmmm. We were cutting down a white pine. Yup. We’re darn sure this is the beetle we saw. Phew!

“These beetles are most commonly misidentified as ALB.  Males are metallic black with one white dot at the base of the wing covers.  Females are brown with speckles and also have the white dot at the base of the wing covers.  ALB does not have this white dot, though it has many white spots on its wing covers.” From this site.

Note the white dot on the beetle in our picture. I think we’re good. Yay. Glad we didn’t bother anyone at the USDA 🙂

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