Anoplophora glabripennis Motschulsky, 1853 (Asian longhorned beetle )


Michael Bohne,




Class: Insecta

Order: Coleoptera

Family: Cerambycidae


Adult Description: ALB is a large, distinctive-looking insect measuring 1 to 1.5 inches long, not including its antennae. These antennae, which give the insect its common name, are as long as the body itself in females and almost twice the body length in males. The insect's body is shiny black with white spots; the antennae are banded in black and white. During summer months, adult beetles can be spotted on walls, outdoor furniture, cars, sidewalks, and tree limbs and branches.

Larva Description: Non descriptive. Most field identification is done using adults.

Host Plant: Most hardwood trees.
Complete host list - provided by USDA-APHIS

History: ALB came to the United States concealed in solid wood packing material, the pallets and crates used to transport goods from overseas. Nobody is sure exactly when the first ALB arrived here.

Biology: While these beetles can fly for distances of 400 yards or more in search of a host tree, they tend to lay eggs in the same tree from which they emerged as adults until the insect population becomes too dense on that tree.

Ecological Threat: This insect is a serious threat to many species of deciduous hardwood trees in the United States (e.g., maple, elm, willow, birch, horsechestnut, and poplar). During its larval stage, the ALB bores deep into a tree's heartwood, where it feeds on nutrients. This tunneling damages, and eventually kills, the tree. This beetle poses a broad threat to forest ecosystems due to its lack of host specificity.

If the ALB were to become established in the U.S., it could be one of the most destructive and costly invasive species ever to enter the United States. It threatens urban and suburban shade trees and recreational and forest resources valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. It might also impact such industries as maple syrup production, hardwood lumber processing, nurseries, and tourism.

US Habitat: Found in hardwood trees. Can invade, forests, suburban and urban areas, parks, wildlands, etc.


Native Origin: China, Korea

US States: ALB has been found in MA, IL, NJ, NY, and in Toronto, ON.

If you believe you have found an Asian longhorned beetle, please report this species.

Texas: Not found in Texas

Resembles: In Texas, it closely resembles the Cottonwood Borer (Plectrodera scalator) -- see this link. Please refer to Asian Longhorn Beetle Look-alikes for more information.

Management: There are no known methods of chemical or herbicidal eradication, but the USDA and APHIS are working to develop these products to eradicate the species in the known infested areas. It is important to notify local forest authorities if an alleged Asian longhorned beetle has been sighted. If identified, any host trees will be removed rapidly with replacement planting to prevent establishment of the beetle in a new area.

Text References

Haack , Robert A., Franck Herard , Jianghua Sun , and Jean J. Turgeon. 2010. Managing invasive populations of Asian longhorned beetle and citrus longhorned beetle: a worldwide perspective. Annual Review of Entomology 55: 521-546.

Hu, J., S. Angeli, S. Schuetz, Y. Luo and A. E. Hajek. 2009. Ecology and management of exotic and endemic Asian longhorned beetle Anoplophora glabripennis. Agric. For. Entomol. 11: 359-375.

Nowack, D. J. 1994. Urban Forest Structure: The State of Chicago's Urban Forest, pp. 3-18 In: E. G. McPherson et al., Chicago's Urban Forest Ecosystem: Results of the Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-186, USDA Forest Service, NE Forest Experiment Sta., Radnor, PA.

Poland, Therese M., Robert A. Haack, Toby R. Petrice. 1998. Chicago Joins New York in the Battle with the Asian Longhorned Beetle. Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society 43(4):15-18

Woodward, Susan L., and Joyce Ann. Quinn. 2011. Asian Longhorned Beetle. Encyclopedia of Invasive Species: From Africanized Honey Bees to Zebra Mussels. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood. 113-15. Print.

USDA APHIS. 2010. Wanted: Asian Longhorn Beetle. Program Aid No. 1655. Accessed 09 January 2012:

USDA APHIS. Asian Longhorn Beetle Look-alikes. Accessed 09 January 2012:

Data Source


Last Updated: 2020-07-07 by Hans Landel - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center