Aeolesthes sarta

From Bugwoodwiki
Hexapoda (including Insecta)
A. sarta
Scientific Name
Aeolesthes sarta
(Solsky, 1871)
Common Names
city longhorn beetle, sart longhorn beetle, town longhorn beetle, Uzbek longhorn beetle, quetta borer, urban cerambycid, Uzbek borer, quetta borer

Compiled by: William K. Oldland II, USFS


Aeolesthes sarta (Coleoptera:Cerambycidae) origin is believed to be Pakistan and Western India. It is known to occur in Northern Afghanistan, mainland China and Western Tibet; western Himalayas, Kashmir, Himachal, Pradesh and Jammu of northern India; Iran, South Kazakhstan; localized Northwest restricted distribution in Pakistan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Host Range

Aeolesthes sarta is a polyphagous insect. Its preferred hosts include English walnut, apple, planetree, poplar, willow, and elm. However it may also attack maples, alders, birch, quince, Russian olive, ash, locust, mulberry, Prunus (stone fruits), pears, and oaks [11] [1][3][5][6][7][8][9][10]


The eggs are white, about 3-4 mm long. The larvae are pale yellowish in color with black mandibles and range 60 – 70 mm in length and are covered with golden hairs. The adult has an elongated, dark grey-brown body, 28-47 mm long, with the elytra being obliquely truncate at the apex and covered with short silvery hairs. Shiny, silvery spots form two irregular bands crossing the elytra. The male is usually smaller than the female. The male has antennae 2.5 times as long as the body, whereas the female antennae are shorter than the body[1][9].

Life Cycle

Aeolesthes sarta requires two years to complete a generation. Adults usually leave their pupal cells, located in the xylem, in April or the beginning of May, when the temperature averages 20°C. They are generally active in the evening and at night. During the day they hide under the bark, in larval tunnels, and in other refuges. After about 8 p.m. they leave their hiding places. The males appear first, and move about until morning on the same tree on which they developed. This species flies very little thus keeping natural spread relatively slow. Adult maturation feeding has not been observed. Usually several generations develop on the same tree until the tree is eventually killed. Females lay eggs in slit-like niches in the bark of the trunk and the larger branches. Egg laying begins shortly after females leave their pupal cells and continues for about two months. Usually 1 to 3 eggs are laid per niche and females may lay a total of 240 to 270 eggs. The eggs hatch 9 to 17 days after being laid. Each larva makes its own tunnel, even if several eggs are deposited at the same place. Feeding begins in the cambium region and frass is ejected through the entrance hole. After feeding in the cambium for a period of time, the larvae enter the xylem. At the end of their first season, larvae make a long gallery that first goes upward for about 10 cm and then changes direction moving downward and resulting in a vertical gallery 15 cm long. At the bottom of this gallery, the larva over-winters protected by a double plug made from borings. The following spring, the larvae resume feeding and construct tunnels deep into the wood. At the end of July, they prepare pupation cells protected by double plugs made from borings. Pupation occurs in these cells and about two weeks later adults emerge. Adults stay in the pupation cells over winter and emerge the following spring [3][6].

Plant Response and Damage

This tree-killing borer is able to alter ecological balances in natural and urban forests. The city longhorn beetle is one of the most important pests of many deciduous forest, ornamental and fruit-bearing trees in the regions where it occurs. It attacks both stressed and healthy trees of all ages. Sometimes young larvae girdle a tree while feeding on the cambium, which leads to the rapid death of the tree. Young trees with a thin bark are the most susceptible to the beetle. Sometimes the presence of just 1 to 3 larvae per tree is enough to cause mortality. There are reported cases where the pest killed large areas of mountain forests. Major damage is also caused to city plantations. Serious damage is also observed in shelterbelts and in fruit (especially apple) orchards[5].


Timing of sampling

The time to sample for City Longhorn Beetle would be when daily temperatures are at least 20˚C. However if the beetle has been present for more than two years old exit holes can be found any time. These may be located during late fall and winter when the leaves are absent[3][6].

Monitoring Techniques

One indicator of the presence of the pest is large emergence holes in trunks and large branches. Sawdust at the base of infested trees, from adult beetle emergence activity, is also an indicator of pest presence. The adult beetles are conspicuous and may be seen sitting on the trunks. Branch and tree dieback is easily detected by seeing wilting and drying leaves[3].

Although A. sarta attacks a number of fruit tree species, it is unlikely to be transported in planting material as it does not attack the small branches, small trunks or root stocks which constitute planting material. Adults may, however, be found resting on the surface of such material. Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport: Stems (above Ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches (Eggs, Larvae, Pupae, Adults; borne internally; visible to naked eye); Wood (Eggs, Larvae, Pupae, Adults; borne internally; visible to naked eye). Transport pathways for long distance movement: Conveyances (transport Vehicles). Container and packing material liable to carry the pest: solid wood packing material with intact bark[1].

Decision making

Management Approaches

Major control efforts are undertaken in countries where the city longhorn beetle currently exists. Control includes phytosanitary measures (e.g. surveys in nurseries with subsequent burning of infested planting material, cutting and burning infested trees, planting less preferred tree species and varieties and treatments with chemical and biological insecticides[6].

Cultural Methods

Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures

International movement of wood of the host plants seems relatively unlikely, but measures in that case could be debarking, absence of emergence holes, or kiln drying, or other treatment.[3]

Biological Control

Investigations have been conducted on the biological control of this insect with little practical success. However, the parasitoid Sclerodermus turkmenicus will parasitize the larvae. While the pathogen Beauveria bassiana, a white muscardine fungus, will attack the adults[1][6].

Chemical Control

From 1988 to 1990 field and industrial tests of insecticides against larvae and adults of Aeolesthes sarta were carried out by Hudoberganov. The results of these trials indicate that it is necessary to treat two or more times. The first treatment will kill the eggs of non-treated females when deposited on treated bark. The second treatment kills larvae hatching from eggs at the end of the 2nd week or at the beginning of the third week of May. Results of double treatment show that the most effective treatments appear to be in variant decis® (a pyrethroid), cymbush® (cypermethrin and cancelled for U.S. use), talstar® (bifenthrin) and karate® (lambda-cyhalothrin) which cause reductions of between 92 and 96.7% in comparison with chlorophos (79.9%) and unitary treatment with dimilin (75%)[8]. As always, read the labels before use.

Mechanical Control

Mechanical destruction of A. sarta with the help of lights at twilight, (at the beginning of emergence) is recommended. This method should be carried out in May.[8]


Major control efforts are undertaken in countries where A. sarta is present. Control measures include phytosanitary measures (e.g. surveys in nurseries with burning of infested plants for planting, cutting and burning all infested trees), planting less preferred species and varieties of trees, treatments with chemical and biological insecticides[3].


  1. CABI (2005). Crop Protection Compendium (2005 ed.) [CD]. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. Current online version at 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4
  2. Tavakilian, G. (2006, October). Catalogue of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist (Cerambycidae database). Aeolesthes sarta. Species 2000. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from Classification, synonyms, distribution
  3. EPPO (2005, December). Data sheets on quarantine pests: Aeolesthes sarta. EPPO Bulletin, 35(3), 387-389. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6
  4. EPPO (2006, September 19). Distribution Maps of Quarantine Pests for Europe: Aeolesthes sarta. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from Distribution map
  5. EcoPort: Aeolesthes sarta. (n.d.). EcoPort Foundation. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from****&entityDisplayCategory=full Classification, common names, role, hosts, distribution, signs and symptoms, morphology, ecology, dispersal/vectors, management, host notes, distribution, bibliography 5.0 5.1 5.2
  6. Orlinski, A. D. (2000, November 28). Exotic Forest Pest Information System for North America: Aeolesthes sarta. North American Forest Commission. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from Identity, risk rating summary, risk rating details, hosts, geographical distribution, biology, pest significance, detection and identification, means of movement and dispersal, bibliography 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5
  7. Farashiani, M. E., Sadeghi, S. E., & Abaii, M. (2001). Geographic distribution and hosts of sart longhorn beetle, Aeolesthes sarta Solsky (Col.: Cerambycidae) in Iran [Abstract]. Journal of Entomological Society of Iran, 20(2), 81-96. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from 7.0 7.1
  8. Khamraev, A. S., & Davenport, C. F. (2004, March). Identification and control of agricultural plant pests and diseases in Khorezm and the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan (No. 8). ZEF Work Papers for Sustainable Development in Central Asia, 1-132. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3
  9. USDA-ARS, Plant Pest Control Division (1968). Insects Not Known to Occur in the United States (INKTO): Quetta Borer (Aeolesthes sarta (Solsky)). Cooperative Economic Insect Report, 18(30), 717-718. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Plant Pest Control Division. Economic importance, distribution, hosts, life history and habits, description, selected references 9.0 9.1 9.2
  10. Hoskovec, M., & Rejzek, M. (2006, July 18). Longhorn Beetles (Cerambycidae) of the West Palearctic Region: Aeolesthes sarta. Author. Retrieved May 1, 2007, from Description, distribution, image 10.0 10.1
  11. Biological Library (BioLib): Aeolesthes sarta. (1999-2007). Retrieved May 1, 2007, from Classification, images, hosts