The Tale of Two Beetles: Where they came from

In 2003, Asian longhorned beetle (ALB)—Anoplophora glabripennis—was found in Toronto. Photos courtesy Joe Boggs

By Joe Boggs, Amy Stone, and Dan Herms

Both insects were accidently introduced into North America; however, EAB appears to have had a single point of introduction in a suburb of Detroit, Mich., whereas ALB has been introduced from China to multiple sites in North America. So far, no ALB infestations have been found to be linked to other infestations in North America; all the beetles that began new infestations arrived directly from China. However, there has been a repeating pattern for each new infestation where a single point of introduction from China was then followed by multiple infestations within the region, which was the result of the movement of infested wood or other material before the discovery of ALB in the area.

Although ALB’s 1996 discovery came six years before EAB, the latter has become much more widely distributed in North America (even though ALB was introduced to multiple locations). Explanations for this disparity in the current distribution of the two beetles include differences in signs and symptoms, and thus the ability to detect the beetles, as well as their behaviour.

Read the full article: The Tale of Two Beetles

Emerald ash borer (EAB)—Agrilus planipennis—was discovered in Toronto in 2007.

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