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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Spread and Distribution in Native Habitats

Research Issue

[photo:] Adult female ALB on twigThe borer has been a destructive outbreak pest in poplar plantations in China for over 20 years, but it has been collected only rarely in nearby South Korea.  Understanding why it is only found in low numbers in native forest may help predict what will happen if it spreads from the urban areas where infestations are now located in the United States and identify other ways of managing it.  Also, understanding its movement within and between trees in the native country will help better delimit eradication areas.

Our Research

To learn more about the species in natural forest stands, we surveyed nine montane locations across South Korea in 2000 and 2001. The primary hosts of Korean A. glabripennis are Acer mono and A. truncatum, which grow in riparian habitats and rocky ravines. We surveyed two locations in Mt. Sorak National Park intensively, mapping all host trees. 

Movements of 55 Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky) adults were monitored on 200 willow trees, Salix babylonica L., at a site 80 km southeast of Beijing, China, for 9-14 d in an individual-mark-recapture study using harmonic radar.

Expected Outcomes

Improved prediction of spread within ALB infestations and possible new management options.

Research Results

Less than 10% of the trees at each site exhibited evidence of beetle damage, and few adult beetles were observed. We hypothesize that the varying dynamics of A. glabripennis populations across its geographical range may be explained by considering it as an “edge specialist,” which evolved in riparian habitats.

Williams, David W., Hai-Poong Lee, Il-Kwon Kim. 2004. Distribution and abundance of Anoplophora glabripennis  (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in natural Acer stands in South Korea. Environ. Entomol. 33(3):540-545.

The average movement distance was 14 m, with many beetles not moving at all and others moving90 m. The rate of movement averaged almost 3 m per day. Movement patterns differed strikingly between the sexes: males averaged 6 times the total movement distance of females at 2 times their rate. The overall recapture rate in this short-term experiment was 78%, but the radar tags attached to individual beetles often broke or otherwise were rendered undetectable after several days in the field. Currently, the harmonic radar system is useful for tracking beetles and obtaining estimates of their movement rates over short time periods. It will become useful for longer-term studies as more durable tags are developed.

Williams, David W., Guohong Li, Ruitong Gao. 2004. Tracking movements of individual Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) adults: application of harmonic radar. Environ. Entomol. 33(3): 644-649.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • David Williams, Former USDA-Forest Service- Northern Research Station Research Entomologist (now with USDA-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service)

Research Partners

  • Hai-Poong Lee, Dongguk University, Republic of Korea
  • Il-Kwon Kim, Dongguk University, Republic of Korea
  • Guohong Li, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
  • Ruitong Gao, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Last Modified: 09/18/2009