USDA confirmed the first recorded long horned beetle in the US was intercepted in a shipment of Costa Rican pineapples.
According to USDA, agriculture specialists with the Philadelphia branch of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discovered the beetle Jan. 29 in a container of 1,575 cases of fresh pineapples. CBP secured the pineapples shipment for fumigation, and submitted the pest specimen to the local USDA entomologist for identification.
An entomologist identified the species as Ayriclytus macilentus of the Cerambycidae family, a species known to occur in Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Costa Rica, and advised CBP that the insect is a pest new to the United States. The national pest identification database confirmed the claim this week. According to the USDA, longhorn beetles pose a significant threat to coniferous and deciduous forests and kills live trees.
“Intercepting destructive insect invaders at our nation’s borders, and before they can threaten our agriculture industries, is of paramount importance to Customs and Border Protection,” says Susan Stranieri, CBP port director for the area port of Philadelphia. “CBP agriculture specialists take their job very serious, and recording these ‘first in nation’ insect interceptions are significant discoveries.”