Thursday, August 14, 2008

Citrus Longhorn beetle in Lancashire

This invasive non-native insect, imported in Acer plants from China (so topical with the Olympics on) is not fully established in the UK, but recently has been discovered in Lancashire.
Although introduced via Acers, it also affects other tree species such as oak, beech, ash, willow horse chestnut, hazel, birch and orchard species.
The beetles develop inside the tree and so are difficult to detect. However large (6-11mm) exit holes, together with wood shavings at the base of the tree (indicating activity of the late larval stage) can indicate their presence.
These large black beetles grow to between 21-37mm long and have distinct white markings and long "horns" or antennae. The antennae are longer than the body and are black with white bands. It could be found on a wide range of trees or shrubs.
If you see one of these distinctive beetles, please isolate it in a sealed container and contact your local Plant Health and Seeds Inspector (PHSI) details of whom can be found on the Defra website - http://www.defra.gov.uk/planth/senior.htm or telephone 01904 455174.
The PHSI should also be notified if there is other evidence of Citrus Longhorn beetle infestation.

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