The Misrepresented Longhorn

You’ve all heard of them… the Longhorn Beetles… the ones that are responsible for destroying thousands of trees in North America. The adult Asian Longhorn Beetles (Anoplophora glabripennis) eat the leaves and twigs of trees and deposit their eggs inside of bark, where the larva then munch away at the phloem, xylem and bark of the tree. Not surprisingly, the combined actions of both the adults and the larva results in the rapid deterioration of trees that were otherwise healthy.

A Longhorn Beetle in Fundy National Park
A Longhorn Beetle in Fundy National Park

When people see beetles with long antennae they immediately think that it must be the dreaded Asian Long-horned beetle, but that is not always the case. Many Longhorns, such as the one from Fundy National Park pictured here, are actually integral parts of ecosystems that pollinate flowers and their larva feed on already dead wood. In fact, as of April of this year Canada as declared that Asian Longhorns have been eradicated from the country after a decade of intensive control in infested areas such as Toronto and Vaughan. Although dramatic measures are necessary to control outbreaks of detrimental invasive species, it is also important to not immediately spring to action because you may mistake harmless or native species for invasive ones that are popular in the media.


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