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Emerald Ash Borer

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Buprestidae
Genus: Agrilus
Species: A. planipennis

Emerald Ash Borer Information    Picture of Emerald Ash Borer 

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The Emerald Ash Borer is a destructive insect that was introduced into the United States in the 1990s from China and Asia and has since spread to seven US states and parts of Canada.  This invasive insect has killed at least twenty million ash trees thus far.
When the emerald ash borer was detected in Michigan, the Department of Agriculture implemented a plan to destroy every ash tree within a half mile of the infected one, as adults can fly up to that distance.  However, due to companies cutting down ash trees and transporting them to nurseries and for firewood, this insect has begun to spread across the United States.  Besides Michigan, they also have been found in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

The emerald ash borer belongs to a group of insects known as the metallic wood boring beetles.
Adults are inches long and areEmerald Ash Borer metallic green.  They emerge in late May and lay their yellowish brown eggs in the bark crevasses of the ash tree.  After hatching the larvae, which are a creamy white color, burrow into the tree to feed by using up all of the trees nutrients.  This damage can cause the tree to die within two years of the first infestation.  Larvae go through several stages, over winters in the bark and pupate in the spring. 

Damage to the ash tree by the emerald ash borer causes the tree canopy to thin out and causes die back within two years.  Sprouts are found at the base of the tree because the upper portions of the tree are not getting the nutrients they need. The emerald ash borer will attack healthy and stressed trees and is also the cause of unusual woodpecker activity on infested trees.

Credits:
Our thanks to Lani Powell for research and writing which made this Emerald Ash Borer information page possible!

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Picture of Emerald Ash Borer     Emerald Ash Borer Information