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Emerald Ash Borer

Agrilus planipennis

The emerald ash borer is a tiny, invasive beetle with a metallic, bright green body. (David Cappaert/Michigan State University/Bugwood.org)
The emerald ash borer is a tiny, invasive beetle with a metallic, bright green body. (David Cappaert/Michigan State University/Bugwood.org)

The emerald ash borer is a green, shiny beetle that lives on ash trees in certain parts of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. It is an invasive species.

Appearance:

  • Metallic, bright green body
  • Flat back
  • Rounded belly
  • Grows to one-half an inch long

Habitat:

  • Lives in and on ash trees, including black ash, green ash and white ash

Range:

Feeding:

  • Adults eat ash tree leaves
  • Young feed on ash tree tissue just under the bark, forming S-shaped lines in the tree

Predators:

  • Woodpeckers prey on emerald ash borer larvae

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

  • Between May and June, adults emerge from ash trees, leaving D-shaped exit holes in the trees
  • Females lay their eggs on ash tree bark between mid-May and mid-August
  • After the eggs hatch, larvae burrow under the bark. They feed on the tissue that carries food and water up and down the tree, which starves the tree to death.
  • Larvae remain in the ash tree through the winter

Other Facts:

  • Introduced to the Chesapeake Bay watershed in 2003 when a Michigan nursery shipped ash trees to Maryland.
  • It is estimated that emerald ash borders have killed more than 20 million ash trees in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.
  • To help stop the spread of the emerald ash borer, don’t move firewood from one location to another. Emerald ash borer larvae can live in firewood.
  • If you find or suspect an emerald ash borer in Maryland, call the Department of Agriculture at (410) 841-5920. In Pennsylvania, call (866) 253-7189. In Fairfax County, Virginia, call (703) 324-5304.

Sources and Additional Information:


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