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Hybridization Potential of Two Invasive Asian Longhorn Beetles

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Wang, Xingeng ; Keena, Melody

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The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky) and citrus longhorned beetle (CLB), Anoplophora chinensis (Förster) (both Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Lamiinae), are high-risk invasive pests that attack various healthy hardwood trees. These two species share some similar host plants and overlapping distributions in large parts of their native ranges in China and the Korean peninsula as well as similar reproductive behaviors. The original Anoplophora malasiaca (Thomson) occurs in Japan and has been synonymized as CLB (hereafter referred to JCLB). In this study, a 30-min behavioral observation of paired adults, followed by a four-week exposure to host bolts, showed that ALB could not successfully cross with CLB. Mating was observed between female CLB and male ALB but not between female ALB and male CLB, no laid eggs hatched. JCLB males successfully crossed with ALB females to produce viable eggs although the overall percentage of hatched eggs was lower than those from conspecific mating pairs. However, ALB males could not successfully cross with JCLB females. CLB and JCLB mated and produced viable hybrid offspring and the hybrid F1 offspring eggs were fertile. These results suggest an asymmetrical hybridization between ALB and JCLB, and that both CLB and JCLB might be considered as two subspecies with different hybridization potential with congeneric ALB. Given their potential impacts on ecosystems and many economically important tree hosts, invasion of these geographically isolated species (ALB and JCLB) or distant subspecies (CLB and JCLB) into the same region may facilitate potential hybridization, which could be a potential concern for the management of these two globally important invasive forest pests. Further studies are needed to determine if fertile hybrid offspring are capable of breeding continually or backcrossing with parental offspring successfully.


Anoplophora; Cerambycidae; interbreeding; invasive forest pest; subspecies


Wang, Xingeng; Keena, Melody. 2021. Hybridization Potential of Two Invasive Asian Longhorn Beetles. Insects. 12(12): 1139. 13 p.

Last updated on: January 12, 2022