The latest info on plant pests, pathogens, and weeds.

Hey, That’s Not ALB!

It’s that time of year again! Every spring, when outside temperatures start to heat up, we get reports from people concerned that they’ve see the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB). Luckily, ALB won’t emerge from the trees until July. If you’re seeing big black beetles with long, long antennae in May and early June, they are almost certainly the native look-alikes known as Whitespotted Pine Sawyers.

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 July. Both beetles are black with white spots and long, black-and-white banded antennae. But sawyers are not as shiny as ALB, they have smaller and duller white markings, and they have a distinct, white, half-circle marking at the top center of their wing covers. Use this image to compare:

Asian Longhorned Beetle vs. Whitespotted Pine Sawyer

If you think you’ve seen an Asian longhorned beetle, or you aren’t sure what you’ve seen, it’s always better to get a photo or capture the specimen and then report it.

Comments are closed.