Asian longhorn beetle

Anoplophora glabripennis

This large wood-eating beetle could seriously damage many trees important to New Zealand. Its long antennae are its defining feature.

About Asian longhorn beetle

This longhorn beetle is native to China and South-East Asia. Adult beetles can only fly a short distance. They usually stay on the same tree they emerged from.

Global distribution of Asian longhorn beetle

Why this is a problem for New Zealand

This beetle attacks many types of tree, including poplar, willow, pear, apple, and stone fruit.

The larvae eat the woody parts of the tree, while the adults eat the leaves and young bark. Larvae cause most of the damage. They can weaken and even kill a tree. Because they stay close to a single tree, they can cause a lot of damage to it.

The beetle and its larvae make wounds in the tree. These wounds can lead to infection with fungal and other diseases. The female beetle lays her eggs under the bark.

Maple bark showing white oblong eggs about 1cm long. Image: CC by Melody Keena, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

How could it get here?

The Asian longhorn beetle may sneak into New Zealand as eggs, nymphs, or larvae in wood, wood products, or wood packaging.

How to identify the Asian longhorn beetle

Key identifiers for the adult beetles:

  • the antennae are twice as long the body of the beetle
  • the body grows to 25mm to 35mm long
  • they are black with 20 irregular white spots on their wings
  • the antennae have a whitish-blue base.

You'll find this beetle on the leaves and young bark of trees like:

  • poplars
  • willows
  • maples
  • fruit trees, like pears, apples, and stone fruit.
Narrow-bodied beetle with long antennae and white spots.
The beetle's antennae are twice as long as its body. Image: CC by Eugenio Nearns, Longicorn ID, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

 

Tree with a large circular hole. hand holding a larvae, which is nearly the length of the thumb.
Left: Large hole in a tree from longhorn beetle larvae.
Right: The larvae can grow to 50mm long.

 

You may see holes in a trunk or a branch of a tree where larvae have chewed their way out.

Check for insect holes in any solid wood packaging or wood products you receive from overseas.

If you think you've found the Asian longhorn beetle

 


Note: This information is a summary of this pest's global distribution and potential impacts on New Zealand.

Last reviewed:
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