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It’s Sawyer Season!

Spring is finally in the air, which means insects are as well. One insect you should become familiar with is the whitespotted pine sawyer, a native longhorned insect that looks a lot like the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB)! While these two species are easily confused, there are several big differences to keep in mind should you find a dark beetle with long antennae this spring or summer:

  • Whitespotted pine sawyer emerges in May, and populations usually peak around Memorial Day. ALB does not emerge until July.
  • Sawyers target dead and dying pine trees, while ALB attacks living hardwoods. In fact, you often find sawyers near stands of pine.
  • Sawyers are a dull brown or dark color with a rough texture to their wing cases. ALB will be black and very shiny, like a patent leather.
  • MOST DISTINCTLY, whitespotted pine sawyers have a distinct white half-circle shape between their wing covers, just behind the head (see red arrow). Asian longhorned beetle lacks this spot.

If you find a beetle that you think could be ALB, you can report it here. Be sure to get photos or capture the specimen.

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