The other day, a friend of the farm, Oliver Constable, stopped by the office with his mother Melinda and this big bug (in the photo). We were trying to identify it and found a good site to compare this critter to the Dread ALB (asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)). This is from my alma mater the University of Vermont.
There has been a lot of talk about Asian Longhorned Beetles taking over the forests of New England. Worcester has suffered a lot and had to sacrifice a lot of trees trying to control the spread of these critters. They are a threat to our trees!
Luckily the beetle that Ollie found was just a whitespotted pinesawyer (Monochamus scutellatus), pretty regular around here. They started flying in mid-May, whereas the ALB will come out just about now. It does lay eggs that hatch into larvae that love to eat trees, but they love to be eaten by other critters and so the ecosystem stays in balance.
If you see a big beetle with really long antennae (“longhorns”) make sure it has this white spot at the base of the wing covers (the top of the back, as it were). This is the telltale mark distinguishing it from the ALB. If it doesn’t have this mark, contact the Mass NRC.
Thanks for bringing it by, Oliver and Melinda! See you at the farm!