Over the past week or so, biologists across Massachusetts and other New England states have reported seeing whitespotted sawyer beetles, the beetle most often confused with Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). The whitespotted sawyer (Monochamus scutellatus), a native beetle that attacks diseased and damaged pine trees, emerges from trees earlier in the season than ALB, which is not expected to be seen in Massachusetts until July.
Similar reports have been coming in via our ALB reporting form this week. Below is a photo, sent in today from Whitman, Massachusetts by Scott Pelletier, showing a whitespotted sawyer. This is a great shot of the beetle, making it easy for an expert to determine the species. Using the notes we’ve added that point out the tell-tale signs that this is a sawyer beetle, not ALB, you too can learn the difference between these two lookalikes: