×
BugFinder Insects by State Spiders Butterflies & Moths Bees, Ants, & Wasps Beetles All Bugs Videos (YouTube)

Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Emerald Ash Borer



Loading SVG image placeholder
1/2
Image Credit: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry Archive [CC BY 3.0 us (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/deed.en)]
Full-sized image of the Emerald-Ash-Borer Thumbnail image of the Emerald-Ash-Borer
2/2
Image Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture [Public domain]
Full-sized image #2 of the Emerald-Ash-Borer Thumbnail image #2 of the Emerald-Ash-Borer

The small Emerald Ash Borer Beetle has a justifiably bad reputation for destruction, radically deforesting neighborhoods in just a few years.



Updated: 09/25/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Emerald Ash Borer is one in a line of destructive tree beetles in North America. As recently as June 2002, the beetle was identified in Windsor, Ontario and in the southeast portion of the state of Michigan. In less than a decade, it became a well-known problem insect. It is native to Asia, found locally in parts of Japan, the Koreas, China, Mongolia, and Russia. A few beetles likely hitched a ride on cargo during shipping and that is when trouble on the North American continent began.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a highly invasive species, capable of populating a large area in a very short period of time. It is also highly recognizable thanks to its metallic green coloring. The insect makes no distinction between wild areas and landscaped growth, attacking the leaves and bark of the Ash tree species wherever it happens to grow.

Emerald Ash Borers (EABs) are related to native species of North American tree borers. They all share some similarities in how they feed, mate, and otherwise operate in adulthood. Adults appear in the late spring months and into early August. One generation lives per year, but it can wreak havoc in little time if left unchecked. The adults that emerge from the tree trunks leave a small, visible "D" shaped hole in the bark of the Ash tree. They proceed to feed off of the tree's foliage before mating several weeks later.

Upon mating, the female beetle can lay upwards of 50 to 100 eggs on the surface of the tree, allowing the larvae to easily begin boring into the tree once they are born. Larvae dig into the area just under the bark and continue boring tunnels while feeding on the sapwood inside the tree. This draining of tree fluids continues from the summer season into the fall. The death of the tree is caused by dehydration and starvation. The small tunnels block or destroy the xylem in the tree trunk which allows water to move up the tree. Ash trees that are infected and impaired will have seasons where only a few branch clusters grow leaves, while other parts are bare. Suffering Ash trees will try to grow new shoots from the base of their trunks in an effort to stay alive.

Ash trees offer a tremendous amount of natural beauty to neighborhoods. They are an important part of the temperate forest ecosystem and are harvested for use. Targeting the larvae is instrumental in stopping the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, and the only known solution to stop them is the removal and destruction of all infected trees. This usually results in an entire neighborhood's treescape changing because Ash trees were popular decades ago in urban and suburban planning. In many places, this species alone was planted for miles. Now block after block loses shade and character in an effort to stem infestations.

Quarantines of known infected areas and trees is currently ongoing throughout many states and provinces. It is thought that the presence of Woodpeckers might be an indication of infestation because Woodpeckers seem enjoy hunting the larvae under the bark. At this time, the EAB feeds only on Ash trees (known as Fraxinus spp.). If you suspect your Ash tree is affected, contact your local government to have the village/city look at your tree.




Known Diet of the Emerald-Ash-Borer



Sapwood (Larvae); Foliage (Adult)


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Flying insect icon
Harmful insect icon
Pest insect icon
Shiny insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Buprestidae
View More
          Genus: Agrilus
View More
            Species: planipennis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Agrilus planipennis
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 13mm (0.39" to 0.51")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, metallic, gold
Descriptors: metallic, emerald, shiny, antennae, flying, harmful, tree pest
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 13mm (0.5in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 11.5mm
Hi: 13mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Emerald Ash Borer may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Emerald Ash Borer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Sitemap


Beetle Identification Butterfly Identification Caterpillar Identification Spider ID

www.InsectIdentification.org • Content ©2006- InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved. The InsectIdentification.org logo, its written content, and watermarked photographs/imagery are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and is protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. This resource uses publically-released information. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (regarding bites, etc...).Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. By submitting images to us (InsectIdentification.org) you acknowledge that you have read and understood our Site Disclaimer as it pertains to "User-Submitted Content". When emailing please include your location and the general estimated size of the specimen in question if possible. Please direct all inquiries and comments to insectidentification AT gmail.com.

www.InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2006-

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo