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Whitespotted Pine Sawyer

whitespotted pine sawyer
Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

The whitespotted pine sawyer (Monochamus scutellatus) is a native beetle that attacks diseased and damaged pine trees. Its range extends from Newfoundland southward to North Carolina, westward from the Atlantic coast through the North Central States to Minnesota, and northwestward into Alaska, wherever its coniferous hosts are found.

The larvae develop successfully in weakened or recently dead conifers, freshly cut pulpwood, and saw logs. Eastern White pine (Pinus strobus) appears to be the preferred host within its range, but the sawyer will also readily attack jack pine (P. banksiana), red pine (P. resinosa), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), white spruce, (Picea glauca), black spruce (P. mariana), and red spruce (P. rubens Sarg.). Tamarack (Larix laricina (DuRoi) K. Koch) occasionally serves as a host.

The adults feed on the needles and tender twig bark of various living conifers.

The whitespotted pine sawyer is sometimes confused with the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). The whitespotted pine sawyer can be clearly identified by the white spot at the top center of its wing covers. That location on the ALB is black. View a comparison between the ALB and the whitespotted pine sawyer.

These beetles are harmless to the environment. In fact, their larvae help break down the fibers of decaying trees which helps add nutrients back into the soil.


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