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US govt declares this 'devil' long-horned beetle as public enemy no. 1

India TV News Desk 16 Aug 2012, 9:59:09 IST
India TV News Desk
New York, Aug 16 :  Amazing pictures of the longhorned beetle from Dominican Republic have been taken by a 19-year-old Cezch photographer Tomas Celar while he was holidaying in the Caribbean.



The US government has already declared this beetle as public enemy number one, in the insect world, reports Daily Mail.

The beetle feeds on 13 different types of hardwood trees, like elm, maple, willow and birch, and eventually kills them.

Its four centimetre long antenna are almost as long as the bug's body as it stands fearless with its devil like red eyes.

The amazing pictures were taken in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic last month with its mouth open ready to pounce on its next victim.

Photographer Tomas Celar  explained how lucky he felt he was to grab the picture as it was the only time he saw a bug of its kind in the two weeks he was in the country.

He said: ‘This is the most devil-like animal I've seen.

‘I expected it to look pretty cool when I took the shot, but I didn't realise until I downloaded it just how evil it looks.

‘It looks really scary with it's big jaws and really long antennae which are over four centimetres, that's big for a bug of this type.



‘There's not many of the longhorn beetles about though, this was the only one I saw but I understand they are more native to the Caribbean and South America.'

The American government recently issued a major warning about the Longohorn beetle invading the U.S. There are over 20,000 different subspecies of the insect.

August is a time of peak emergence for what is described as a ‘devastating invasive pest'.

The beetles were first discovered in the United States in 1996, after arriving in wood packing material from Asia.

Since 1996, the pest has infested trees in Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Ohio, resulting in the removal of more than 80,000 host trees.



It threatens recreational areas, forests, and suburban and urban shade trees.

‘The public is our first line of defense because early detection is crucial and could mean more trees saved,' said Rebecca Blue, Deputy Under Secretary of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

‘Whether you're camping, fishing, hiking, or just relaxing in the backyard, be on the lookout for Asian longhorned beetles and signs of their damage.

‘Please inspect your trees at home regularly, and be aware of the risks of transporting forests pests when moving firewood.'

Adult beetles are most active during the summer and early fall. They can be seen on trees, branches, walls, outdoor furniture, cars, and sidewalks and caught in pool filters.