Native Borers and Emerald Ash Borer Look-alikes (E2939)

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February 11, 2016 - Author:

Native Ash Borers

Native ash borers are North American insects that tunnel under the bark of ash trees, sometimes causing enough damage to seriously weaken trees.

These two borers attack healthy ash trees:

Banded ash clearwingPodosesia aureocinto; adult (Fig. A), larva (Fig. B)

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Ash/lilac borerPodoesia syringae; (Fig. C).

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  • Wasp-mimicking moths that feed on xylem of ash trees.
  • Larvae are round with legs and expel frass from tree (Fig. D).
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  • Round exit hole (1/4 inch); pupal case exposed in exit hole upon emergence (Fig. E).
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These three borers attack stressed or dying ash trees:

Redheaded ash borerNeoclytus acuminatus; adult (Fig. F), larva (Fig. G).

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Banded ash borerNeoclytus caprea; adult (Fig. H).

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  • Longhorned beetles (roundheaded borers) that attack stressed ash trees, but also colonize elm, hickory, oak, linden, and others.
  • Larvae tunnel deep into xylem (Fig. I) and adults emerge from round-oval exit holes measuring 1/4 inch (Fig. J).
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Eastern ash bark beetleHylesinus aculeatus; adult (Fig. K).

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  • Cylindrical bark beetle that forms galleries beneath the bark of ash trees (Fig. L).
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  • Infested trees peppered with tiny, round exit holes measuring approximately 1/16 inch (Fig. M).
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Emeral Ash Borer Look-alikes

The following insects are common to Michigan and could possibly be confused with emerald ash borer.

  • Six-spotted tiger beetleCicindela sexguttata; adult measures 1/2 inch long (Fig. N).
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  • Caterpillar hunterCalosoma scrutator; adult measures 1 inch long (Fig. O).
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  • Japanese beetlePopillia japonica, adult measures slightly less than 1/2 inch long (Fig. P).
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  • Bronze birch borerAgrilus anxius; adult measures approximately 1/2 inch long (Fig. Q).
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  • Two-lined chestnut borerAgrilus bilineatus; adult measures approximately 1/2 inch long (Fig. R).
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  • Several other uncommon metallic wood-boring beetles.

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Related Topic Areas

Natural Resources, Forestry


Authors

Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson
wilsonm1@msu.edu

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