Over the past couple of weeks, our pest reporting website has been deluged with reports from people who are worried they’ve spotted the dreaded Asian longhorned beetle. Turns out almost all of these reports can be blamed on a look-alike, the whitespotted sawyer:
The whitespotted sawyer (Monochamus scutellatus) is a native beetle that attacks diseased and damaged pine trees. It emerges from trees earlier in the season than Asian longhorned beetles (“ALB”), which is not expected to be seen in Massachusetts until the end of June. Both beetles are black with white spots and long, black-and-white banded antennae, but sawyers are not as shiny as ALB, they have fewer and duller white markings, and they all have a distinct, white, half-circle marking at the top center of their wing covers. Use this image to compare:
If you think you’ve seen an Asian longhorned beetle, or you aren’t sure what you’ve seen, you should always report it. Try to get a photo or capture the insect if you can.