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Species Page

Asian longhorned beetle

Anoplophora glabripennis
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Acer (maples)
Acer negundo (box elder)
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut)
Populus (poplars)
Populus canadensis (hybrid black poplar)
Populus dakuanensis
Populus deltoides (poplar)
Populus nigra (black poplar)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix (willows)
Salix babylonica (weeping willow)
Salix matsudana (Peking willow)
Ulmus (elms)

List of symptoms / signs

Stems - internal feeding
Whole plant - internal feeding


Asian longhorned beetle infestation can be detected via oviposition and exit holes. Sap might be oozing from these holes and larval activity forms frass that accumulates either against the trunk or at the base of the tree. Masses of wood shavings and frass extruding from round exit holes are also signs that adults have emerged from infested wood.

Larval activity is recognized by the presence of galleries under the bark and, later, tunnels in the wood (Haack et al., 2010; Meng et al., 2015).

Prevention and control

In China, control measures include the direct application of insecticides (Chen et al., 1990; Liang et al., 1997), trap trees combined with insecticide treatments (Sun et al., 1990) or the use of insect-pathogenic nematodes (providing up to 94% mortality; Liu et al., 1992). As certain poplar hybrids are relatively resistant (Qin et al., 1996), the planting of such hybrids is now preferred, and the use of very susceptible hybrids is avoided. Control strategies in China have been reviewed by Luo et al. (2003) and Pan HongYang (2005).

The case of A. glabripennis has been the main stimulus for the development by the FAO Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures of an international standard 'Guidelines for regulating wood packaging material in international trade' (ICPM, 2002). In the USA and in Europe, strong measures have been taken for wood packing materials (packing cases and dunnage) from China. Such packaging should be treated by methods recognized to have adequate efficacy against all wood pests. These currently include heat treatment (to an internal temperature of 56°C for 30 min). Once treated, packing wood is unlikely to be re-infested, so such wood (especially crates and pallets) can continue to be used in trade. An internationally recognized mark is stamped on the treated wood. The international standard was approved in 2002 and is now progressively being implemented worldwide, in order to prevent introductions.

In the invaded zones, control measures aim to contain and eradicate the outbreaks in urban areas (Lance, 2003; Haack et al., 2010). Unger (2003) gives an example of the measures needed to exclude the pest from Germany. Detection of outbreaks is difficult and is often incidental. Indeed, the cryptic lifestyle and tendency of the beetle to lay small numbers of eggs on several trees combine to make it difficult to define the limits of the outbreak and thus to eradicate the beetle without destroying large numbers of trees. Once the presence of the species is confirmed, a security perimeter is defined around the infested trees, and these trees are immediately felled and then crushed or incinerated on site. Host species in the vicinity of the outbreak are usually controlled visually. Felling of infested trees is currently the only means of control implemented systematically in Europe, Canada and the USA (Hérard et al., 2006; Meng et al., 2015; Turgeon et al., 2015). This method has proven to be effective in relatively recent, small-scale outbreaks. Inspection of susceptible trees is, however, often not sufficient to detect the entire infestation. Indeed, as the most obvious sign of the presence of the species is the emergence hole, the infestation is very often detected when the adults have already emerged from the tree and have potentially dispersed further. In addition to the visual inspection, dogs have been trained to detect the presence of A. glabripennis (Hoyer-Tomiczek et al., 2016). These dogs are capable of smelling the insect in trees, and are also used to inspect suspicious shipments at potential points of entry.

The difficulty in detecting infestations explains, for example, why new infested trees were detected in 2013 in the Toronto area (10 years after the first discovery of the species in the region) a few months after the species was considered as eradicated from the monitoring area. Growth rings from felled infested trees showed that the individuals had been present for several years, suggesting that this second finding was probably a satellite population of the original population observed (Turgeon et al., 2015).