This relative of the Asian longhorned beetle attacks and kills a wide range of hardwood species, including maple (Acer), oak (Quercus), willow (Salix), and poplar (Populus) in addition to apple (Malus) and citrus trees (Citrus). The larvae are very large, around 5 cm (2 inches) in length, and bore numerous tunnels in the trunk that sever internal transport and can eventually kill the tree, in addition to making it susceptible to wind breakage.
The insect was intercepted in Chinese shipments of bonsai plants to Georgia in 1999 (Thomas, 1999). The first infestation of citrus longhorned beetles was discovered in 2001 on quarantined, imported maple trees in a plant nursery in Tukwila, Washington (Anonymous, 2002). Examination of the damage raised suspicions that up to five beetles had escaped. Correspondingly, the Washington State Department of Agriculture imposed a quarantine of properties within one-half mile of the point of introduction. During the summer of 2001, APHIS and the Washington State Department of Agriculture cut and chipped 1,000 trees in hopes of eradicating this dangerous pest (USDA APHIS, 2002; J. Lundberg, pers. comm., 2004). The risk rating for this beetle is very high, and professionals believe that if it becomes established, the impact of this insect could be greater than the more widely known Asian longhorned beetle.
Anonymous, 2002. Citrus longhorned beetle eradication project. http://agr.wa.gov/PlantsInsects/InsectPests/CLHB/docs/Tukwila/TreeSlayer_final.pdf.
Lundberg, John. June 2004. Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, personal communication.
Thomas, M. 1999. Pest Alert: Citrus longhorned beetle. http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/enpp/ento/clbalert.htm, accessed July 2004.
United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service. 2002. Citrus longhorned beetle program. King County, Washington. Environmental Assessment. April, 2002. USDA, APHIS, 12 pp.