Asian Longhorned Beetle

Family: 
Cerambycidae (long-horned beetles) in the order Coleoptera (beetles)
Description: 

Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) are shiny black with white spots. The antennae are long and have alternating bands of black and white. The antennae are usually 1 to 2 times greater than the length of the body. The upper sections of the legs are whitish to blue. The larvae are yellowish-white, wormlike, cylindrical and fleshy, with a varied texture on the underside. The pupae are off-white to light brown and appear like an immature version of the adult with legs and antennae compressed against the body. The ALB should not be confused with the cottonwood borer, a native longhorned beetle. The adult cottonwood borer has a more even mix of black and white patterns on its body and has solid black antennae.

Size: 
Adult beetles 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long. Larvae up to 2 inches long. Pupae 1 to 1 1/4 inch long and 1/2 inch wide.
Habitat and conservation: 
Originally from Asia, the Asian longhorned beetle was most likely transported to the United States in solid wood packing material like pallets and crates. Currently, ALB infestations are being eradicated in New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Left undetected, the ALB will girdle the vascular system of trees, causing them to wither and die. It is vital that we keep the ALB out of Missouri.
Foods: 
Adult beetles eat leaves and twigs, while young larvae tunnel beneath the bark and feed on phloem (the inner bark) of the branches and trunk. As they grow, the larvae tunnel deeper into the tree through the sapwood. Preferred trees include maple species (such as boxelder, Norway, red, silver and sugar maples), as well as horsechestnut, black locust, elms, birches, willows, poplars and green ash.
Distribution in Missouri: 
As of July 2011, there are active ALB infestations in the northeast United States. There are no known populations in Missouri. We must remain vigilant so we can eradicate any infestations should they occur. Transporting firewood or other wood materials from an infested area can spread ALB.
Status: 
Invasive species not presently in Missouri. Left undetected, the tunneling of this insect will cause trees to wither and die. If you think you have found this insect in our state, you must report it as quickly as possible.
Life cycle: 
Adults are active from summer to mid-fall. Females dig crater-shaped holes 1/2 inch in diameter into bark to deposit their eggs. The hole may appear orange. Larval feeding galleries or tunneling may be visible on severely impacted trees. It takes three years for the ALB to mature. When the adult beetles emerge, they leave behind a hole 3/8 inch in diameter. Wood shavings may be found around the base of infested trees.
Human connections: 
Arriving from overseas inside the wood of crates and pallets, the ALB could be worse than Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight and gypsy moths, destroying millions of acres of America’s hardwoods. Our lumber, maple syrup, nursery, commercial fruit and tourism industries could be devastated.
Ecosystem connections: 
In its native Asia and in America, the ALB is extremely destructive to hardwood trees. There are some predators that can kill individual ALBs, but this destructive beetle spends most of its life in larval form, hidden inside trees, away from its predators. Humans must control this invasive pest.