Are you planning an Asian Longhorned Beetle lesson with a group of students, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or other youth group? This activity is perfect for young boys and girls! Students will learn about the morphology of Asian Longhorned Beetle (“ALB”) as you guide them through constructing an ALB ring!
- Black Construction Paper or ALB Ring Template
- black and white pipe cleaners (“chenille stems”)
- white paint (acrylic paint works great)
- a small paint brush
- a hole punch (optional)
How to Construct the ALB Ring:
Step 1: Sketch an ALB body pattern on black construction paper or print out the ALB ring template. (Tell the kids that a real ALB is about 1.5 to 2 inches long. We’re making the bodies larger so that kids can work with them more easily.)
Step 2: Using scissors, cut the ALB patterns out of the paper. (Explain that ALB bodies are actually very shiny black, like patent leather, not matte like the construction paper or printed template.)
Step 3: Use the white paint to decorate the ALB body with spots. (Tell the students about the white spots on the back of an ALB.)
Step 4: While the paint dries, grab a black and a white pipe cleaner (“chenille stem”) and twist them together to form the ALB antennae. Twist stems completely together, end to end. (Explain that ALB is called a “Longhorned” beetle, not because they have horns, but because of their long black and white antennae.)
Step 5: Center the antennae around your middle finger and twist around to create a ring with the two antennae facing upward. (The ALB use these antennae to find one another on the trees.)
Step 6: Once your ALB spots are dry, use a hole punch or scissors to cut a small hole in the head of the ALB body (see photo).
Step 7: Hold the tips of the ALB antennae together and very carefully place them through the hole in the ALB body. Make sure that they are very tight together, if they spread it may rip the paper.
Step 8: Carefully pull the ALB body down over the antennae, until it rests on the top of the ring. Use caution in this step and make sure that the two sides of the antennae are held together the entire way through the hole. If they spread apart the hole may rip open.
Step 9: You have now finished your ALB Ring! Curl around the antennae as you see fit! (In nature they are only slightly curved towards the end, but there is a little wiggle room for creativity in your ALB ring!)
Kids can use their ALB ring to teach others about this invasive insect. They can tell others what an ALB looks like, use their hands to make the ALB look as if it is walking on a tree, or tell others how the ALB antennae help them find each other.