Invasive SpeciesAsian long horned beetle

Anoplophora glabripennis
NOT FOUND by pparent
2011-07-09
St. David
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by pparent
Peer reviewed by
Field Notes
When I spend time in Northern Maine, I get a chance to really slow down and look closely at things. There is so much for the senses to absorb, if we just take the time. Anyway, I was just out minding my own business getting out in my boat to do a little morning fishing. I had just let out my line and was getting settled in when I noticed something crawling on my arm. This bug was big, black and a little scary looking. It was clinging on to my jacket, walking up my arm and heading for higher ground, my neck. The bug had some characteristics of the Asian, Longhorn Beetle, an insect I had heard and read about that scientists, foresters and many others in Maine are quite concerned about. Without panic, (I am quite proud of myself) I grabbed the insect, which had a pretty good grip on my clothing at the time. I searched my boat and found a container to put the bug in and I continued fishing. It was a beautiful day with fairly calm water and a light breeze. It was not quite 20º C. The water is still cool and the water level is very high for this time of year, an indicator of a rainly start to summer. The fishing wasn't great. I caught a couple of yellow perch, which is not what I was fishing for, but I did see an eagle dive for a fish at a distance, showing me how it was done, so it was a pretty good morning overall. When I got back, I brought the bug up and placed it on a paper plate and in a box. The bug certainly was an active critter, and a great climber. It was a challenge to keep it from climbing out and it was difficult to get some clear photos. It is so much easier to get plants to cooperate for a photo shoot. Some interesting things I noticed include the Google Earth map shows the lake in ice. I guess it is frozen a good part of the year and certainly wasn't in that condition yesterday. Also, that insect I found is certainly not Anoplophora glabripennis or the Asian Longhorn Beetle (thank goodness). It is probably Monochamus scutellatus or the Whitespotted Pine Sawyer based on the evidence I found. This bug sure is a good climber. It clung firmly to my clothing and the cardboard box I tried to contain it in and seemed to always be seeking higher ground, trying to escape by climbing. That may be how it survives in the wild, up a tree as the escape route. My biggest question is, why such long antennae? What advantage might this give the insect? I am relieved to say I did not find Asian Longhorned Beetle. I encourage everyone, especially Massabesic student scientists to keep an eye out for the dreaded Asian Longhorn Beetle, especially when you are out camping with your family at campgrounds or elsewhere because you know the vector for these bugs (firewood) and camping areas may be the first place they will be discovered. If you think you find ALB (or hopefully not), don't forget to submit to Vital Signs to inform the experts.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
Although not the clearest photo, this shows the scale. I don't have a metric ruler up here. I'll have to find one in Canada, I guess. Most insect descriptions on State sites use the English System anyway. Anoplophora glabripennis (Asian Long horn Beetle) generally is 3/4 of an inch (1.9 cm) to an inch and a half (4 cm). Monochamus scutellatus (Whitespotted Pine Sawyer) is generally smaller, 3/4 of an inch to an inch long (1.9 to 2.5 cm). The picture shows this insect is smaller than an inch in size (<2.5 cm), but not by much, so it may be a female WPS. The males of both species are smaller than the females. If it is ALB, it would maybe be a male and if a WPS, it would maybe be a female. This picture does show the bronze black coloration of the Sawyer also.
Photo of my evidence.
The insect does have the white spots on the wings like the ALB. However, the color of the insects is a good way to tell them apart. ALB is black with white spots. If you look closely at insect in the picture, it shows the insect with a metalic, bronze, black color. The Whitespotted Pine Sawyer has this characteristic and Asian Longhorn Beetle does not.
Photo of my evidence.
The insect sure does have long antennae like ALB. It aways had its antennae out in front of it and didn't wrap them around the body as seen in many identification pictures. At first appearance, the insect appeared to have white bands on the antennae, but the bands are not as distinctly white as that of the ALB. Also, probably the best way to identify the Whitespotted Pine Sawyer is the white spot in the center of the back above the wings, or the scuttelum I just learned. This is probably Monochamus scuttelatus because of the white spot and rules out Anoplophora glabripennis.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I did not find it
Scientific name:
Anoplophora glabripennis
Common name:
Asian long horned beetle
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
Latitude: 
N 47.222663 °
Longitude: 
W -68.258280 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Habitat: 
Freshwater - In a pond or lake
Trip Information
Name:
Long Lake, Saint David, ME
Trip date: 
Sat, 2011-07-09 07:28
Town or city: 
St. David
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey
Ecosystem: 
Freshwater
Watershed: 
Saint John
MIDAS Code: 

Comments

At my camp in Poland Maine there are asian long horn beetles. Its weird how there antenas are bigger than there body we see them in the summer a lot of the times we go upta camp

It was great to read about your observation on the Whitespotted Pine Sawyer. I loved hearing all about it. And, of course, the results that it wasn't the ALB. :) I too have more experience measuring plants, that don't move, so I can appreciate your difficulty getting a clear shot. However, I think your pictures are quite good especially since I am sure the insect probably wasn't posing for you. Thanks for all of the great info!

Hi pparent,

Thank you for your story and reporting your observation of the most famous ALB-lookalike (at least here in the northeast U.S.). You are correct - you collected the whitespotted sawyer. The white scutellum is the most definitive way to tell it apart from ALB.

You ask why the long antennae - that is the way for these beetles to sense and "smell" what is around them. Live longhorned beetles are constantly wagging and waving their antennae around, and likely this family of beetle (Cerambycidae) need to be able to sense what is entirely around them for survival.

Thank you for the shout out to student scientists to keep an eye out for ALB and report their observations. We really need the help from the public to spot this beetle in our state as early as possible so that we lose as little trees as possible.

Keep your eyes peeled! I hear from our species experts that the beetles are emerging in Worcester.

So glad that you are enjoying the great outdoors, looking closely, and that you did not find ALB! You are a great role model for your students! What a fabulous observation.

I am a bit jealous that you were out on a lake fishing, but I did get to enjoy my day out on Kezar Lake today with Kezar Lake Watershed Association and LIPPC looking for invasive aquatic plants. We don't think we found the invasives either!

Keep looking, I can't wait to read more.