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Asian longhorned beetle larvae eat plant tissues that their parents cannot

Source: news.psu.edu

Despite the buzz in recent years about other invasive insects that pose an even larger threat to agriculture and trees — such as the spotted lanternfly, the stink bug and the emerald ash borer — Penn State researchers have continued to study another damaging pest, the Asian longhorned beetle.

Their most recent research revealed that the larval offspring of the wood-borer native to China can feed and thrive on tree species whose tissues would sicken their parents, perhaps explaining how the beetle expands its range, even when its preferred host trees — maples, elms and willows — are not nearby.

The researchers’ attention on Asian longhorned beetles remains well-placed because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has spent approximately $640 million to eradicate outbreaks of the wood-boring beetle in Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. And eradication efforts continue in New York, Massachusetts and Ohio. MORE

Header image: Penn State researchers continue to focus on Asian longhorned beetles because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has spent approximately $640 million to eradicate outbreaks of the wood-boring insect in four states, and eradication efforts continue in three states. Credit: Charlie Mason/Penn State.

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