The Asian longhorned beetle is native to southern China, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan. It has also become established in some parts of the USA, Canada and Austria.
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The risk to Australia
The Asian longhorned beetle is a wood-boring pest that usually targets hardwood trees such as elm, willow, poplar, maple and a variety of fruit trees. An outbreak of Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to devastate Australia’s apple and pear plantations and destroy forests and native bush. Perfectly healthy trees can become quickly overcome by the beetle’s attack and often die as a result. It can also cause serious damage to parkland trees and timber structures in houses.
What it looks like
An adult beetle is about 20 to 35 millimetres long and 7 to 12 millimetres wide. Its body is jet black in colour with white spots. The antennae are black with whitish-blue rings and can be up to two and a half times the body length. The larvae look like grubs and can grow up to 50 millimetres long. Asian longhorned beetle eggs are about 5 to 7 millimetres long, off-white in colour, rectangular in shape and are laid under bark.
What to look for and where
The beetle is most likely to arrive in imported timber and wood used for pallets and other packing materials from Asia or North America. Look out for larval tunnels in the wood up to 15 millimetres wide, sawdust-like frass falling from damaged timber, and oval-shaped exit holes about 10 to 15 millimetres wide.
SEE. SECURE. REPORT.
If you see this pest or any other pest that you think may have hitchhiked to Australia, contain it where possible and immediately report it to the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry on 1800 798 636.
For safety, consult a departmental entomologist before handling specimens.