Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Dreaded Beetle

Not all invasive species look this nasty. The Asian longhorned beetle was responsible for the preventive destruction of 25,000 trees in Worcester, and now it has been found in Boston, near the historic Arnold Arboretum. Officials destroyed six trees and are hoping that the infestation has been fully contained.

Why do so many invasive species seem to come from Asia? The answer is quite simple: invasive species succeed because they have few if any natural competitors or predators. The farther they have traveled (in the holds of ships, mostly), the less likely they are to encounter enemies from home. Most introduced species die out or somehow fit in, but when one breaks out and becomes invasive, it can wreak a lot of havoc!

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