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Asian Longhorn Beetle
What is the Asian longhorn beetle?
The Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) is a native
of China, Korea and Japan, and poses a serious threat to a wide
range of broadleaved trees. It has caused extensive damage to trees
in the USA and Italy since being accidentally introduced there in
How did it reach Kent?
Beetle larvae were found in March 2012 at Paddock Wood, near
Maidstone, the first ever infestation of the pest in the UK. It is
thought the original beetles might have come out of wood packaging
material which had been used to import slate from China at a site
next to where the outbreak was located.
All wood packaging material imported into the EU should be
marked to show that it has been treated to reduce the risk of
carrying quarantine pests. Untreated wood packaging is a known
pathway for Asian longhorn beetles. It is illegal to import wood
into the UK that shows signs of the beetle.
What does the beetle look like?
Adult beetles are large (about 20 - 40 mm long) and shiny black
with variable white markings. Their antennae ('horns') are
particularly distinctive and longer than their bodies (up to twice
the body length) and are black with white or light blue bands.
They are almost identical in appearance to citrus longhorn
beetle (Anoplophora chinensis), another non-indigenous long-horned
beetle that threatens trees in Britain.
What are the signs?
The most obvious symptoms of Asian longhorn beetle damage are
the circular exit holes where the adults come out of the tree.
These are about 10mm in diameter and are generally found in the
main trunk and branches.
Other signs which might be present, but are much less obvious,
include piles of sawdust-like droppings at the base of infested
trees, scraped bark and sap bleeding from the sites where eggs have
been laid, and bark-feeding damage on smaller branches and
What should I do if I find one? Where can I report it?
Anybody finding one of these distinctive beetles should secure
the specimen (preferably in a sealed glass jar) and contact the
Fera Plant Health Helpline 0844 2480071 or email
An inspector can then collect it.
The beetles are not harmful to humans, although they should be
handled with caution as they can nip the skin. Fera should also be
notified if there is other evidence of infestation by Asian
longhorn beetle, such as exit holes in the trunk of host
Exit holes are generally about 10mm in diameter and found in the
upper trunk and branches.