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Citrus Longhorn Beetle

Citrust Longhorn BettleCitrus Longhorn Beetle (Anaplophora chinensis)

We are asking the public and those in the horticulture industry to look out for this pest.

· Citrus Longhorn Beetle (Anoplophora chinensis) is a serious invasive pest from South East Asia.

· It can infest a wide range of broadleaved trees and would be a major threat to horticulture and the wider environment if it became established here.

· The larvae feed inside the tree and are almost impossible to detect without cutting the stem, until the adult emerges leaving a visible exit hole.

In recent years there have been several findings in Europe, including interceptions in the UK, of beetles and potentially infested plants, imported from Asia. Since the larvae may live inside the stem for up to four years, we must continue to be vigilant for adults emerging, and spreading to new hosts. They are likely to be most active in July and August.

This beetle is a plant pest and information to help you identify Citrus Longhorn Beetle is available on the Fera website. Two short videos have also been commissioned (one for the individual, the other of the horticultural trade) to help us understand why it's a problem, what to look out for and what to do if found.

If you would like further information on this please contact Horticulture and Marketing Unit.

Outbreaks and interceptions

In 2008, a consignment of maple trees (Acer palmatum) imported from China to Guernsey via The Netherlands was found to be infested with Citrus Longhorn Beetle. Trees from this consignment had been widely distributed around the UK by mail order, before the finding was made. Specific follow-up and general publicity resulted in several beetles being found in England and Wales, in 2008 and 2009.

In February 2010, an outbreak of the pest was confirmed in Boskoop, a major nursery growing area in The Netherlands. Evidence suggested it had been present for a number of years, so plants might have unwittingly been distributed to the UK with the pest present. In addition to measures taken by the Dutch Plant Protection Service, the Scottish Government followed up recent deliveries from the area, and stringent destructive sampling was introduced for host plants imported from countries outside the EU.

The main source of infested plants in recent years has been China. The EU agreed a suspension of imports of maple trees from China until May 2012, as well as other measures to strengthen the EU's protection against citrus longhorn beetle. This was implemented in Scottish law through the Plant Health (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2010.