What's black and white and not an Asian longhorn beetle?

beetle flips itself

I felt like such a conservation hero one day last week when I scooped up a freaky, huge black and white beetle off a sidewalk in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. For years the city (and any group involved in trees) has been handing out pictures of the invasive beetle that has been eating maple, horsechestnut, elm, willow, birch, poplar, and ash trees trees from the inside out.

I put the bug in a ziplock bag for further investigation at home. I looked him up compared to his WANTED poster.

Nope. I had found an Eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus). Thankfully, Massachusetts seems to have encountered enough “helpful” people like me and come up with posters that explainthat other bugs are black and white, too. They list 10 look-alike species. The Eyed click may actually eat Asian longhorns; bugguide.net says “Larvae are predatory, eating grubs of wood-boring beetles like cerambycids (longhorns).”

An Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) would have been quite a find in Prospect Park, which seems not to be infested yet. Luckily, it was not one.

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