Scientists in the Field
Spiral Notebook
Beetle Busting
by Loree Burns
July 25, 2013
Beetle Busting
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My next Scientists in the Field book is about the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and the men and women studying it in Worcester County, Massachusetts. ALB is a fascinating insect with a fascinating life cycle, but it did not evolve here in North America. It hitchhiked here from Asia, in wooden shipping supplies. Now that it’s here, ALB is causing problems for trees. Lots of problems for lots of trees. As I type, the beetle is threatening to enter the northeastern hardwood forest. If that happens, the forest as we know it could change substantially.

Beetle Busters won’t be published until fall of 2014. In the meantime, you can check out this public service announcement from the US Department of Agriculturefor an introduction to ALB and tips on how to look for it in trees near you.


Image © Ellen Harasimowicz

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About Loree Burns

Loree Griffin Burns, Ph.D. lives, writes, and watches bees in central Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and three children. You can visit her at She is the author of the award-winning Scientists in the Field titles Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion and The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe.  Her next Scientists in the Field book is about beetles and trees.


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