Asian long-horned beetle Infestation at TamShui Riverpark

Riding through the park every morning, I noticed some strange creature sitting on the biking path every morning.
After watching a report about the Asian long-horned beetle in Europe i recognized the creature and captured one for further examination.

I caught this one near Kandu where these famous bushes are along the riverside. I saw them coming out of those bushes/trees.
I put the little sucker into a plastic bag which it managed to bite itself through within five minutes, so I put a second and third bag around it.
Now., it’s sitting in an empty plastic jar and keeps inspecting every part of the inner surface. I hope it doesn’t find any spot from where it can start munching on the plastic.

I am a little worried that these famous plants (sorry can’t find the correct name) on the riverside will be destroyed by them.

Right now, it starts making noises again. I think I have to kill it in order to take some pictures. I am afraid it’ll escape here in Taipei city and destroy the trees on Zhongshan north road.
It would be all my fault then.
Any Idea how I could take some sharp shots without killing it? Alcohol?

The trees are mangroves (紅樹林) and they’re very important ecologically. These little guys are called celestial cows (天牛) in Chinese and the thing they’re best at is procreating. Last time I biked past Guandu, there was a city government employee out there killing them (interestingly enough by catching and drowning them in water-filled jars). I told him that I thought it was kind of sad because they’re rather graceful creatures, to which he said that this is the only way to prevent them from overpopulating and destroying local plantlife. You should consider killing it to prevent that from happening.

If you just want a picture, it may survive a trip through the fridge but be unable to move… But I think that’s also kind of cruel. I have a close-up of a live one somewhere around here. If I find it, I’ll post it.

These pics are from 2011 and they’re not as good as I remember, sadly.

This guy is the murderer

But as you can see he has his work cut out for him

Yeah, that’s going to make a difference. :unamused: One council employee, two million beetles, ten million larvae.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if they just leave them alone. These things must have predators or parasites. So where are they? If they’re not there, why not? Does it matter if they’re eating the mangroves as long as the mangrove population continues to increase (perhaps they’ll pick out the weak ones, leaving stronger ones to reproduce)? Are humans doing anything stupid that is slowing mangrove reproduction or disrupting the environment in which they’re growing (eg., dumping raw sewage into the estuary, or removing plants that the beetles might otherwise eat in preference)? There’s usually a reason for these things.

Yeah, that’s going to make a difference. :unamused: One council employee, two million beetles, ten million larvae.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if they just leave them alone. These things must have predators or parasites. So where are they? If they’re not there, why not? Does it matter if they’re eating the mangroves as long as the mangrove population continues to increase (perhaps they’ll pick out the weak ones, leaving stronger ones to reproduce)? Are humans doing anything stupid that is slowing mangrove reproduction or disrupting the environment in which they’re growing (eg., dumping raw sewage into the estuary, or removing plants that the beetles might otherwise eat in preference)? There’s usually a reason for these things.[/quote]
Five years from now, I predict you will be ranting about how not enough was done and how it’s all the fault of stupid humans.

Doing anything is not necessarily better than doing nothing, but I wasn’t advocating ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away. I was suggesting we should find out why things have gone wrong in the first place. Then we’ll know what to do about it. They’re always fiddling with the Danshui reserve. I was just walking there this evening and some bozo has been along the whole length of the cyclepath with a strimmer, where there used to be a lot of Melilotus. It’s now bare earth. WTF was the point of that? The clover was holding the soil together and preparing it for other pioneer species. It was just setting seed and would have died back anyway. Now the soil is just going to erode and compact.

What worries me is that the modern way of doing things is to find the biggest sledgehammer available, and smash that nut to atoms. It wouldn’t surprise me if the guy with a jam jar of water is replaced next week with an army of hazmat suits spraying the fuck out of everything with who-knows-what.

I agree with you in principle. But basically I think killing off the bugs makes sense in this context. They’ve been making an effort to bring back mangrove trees which were endangered or on the brink of being so, and which are vital to protecting the integrity of the land on the river banks. Maybe back in the day there were enough trees to feed these insects, but then rapid development happened. So if you just let nature sort it out, either the bugs win and the plants die, or the plants survive and the bugs die. But one of those scenarios is very bad for people.

It won’t actually work, though, will it? If you spray an insecticide, it’ll kill pretty much everything, including things that might be attacking the beetles but haven’t built up a stable population yet. What you won’t kill are most of the larvae, which are safely buried inside the trees. Even if you blast the living fuck out of everything, perhaps with a systemic chemical that the plants take up into their cells, they’ll be right back again next year, or the year after, or whenever the poisons disperse - in a predator-free beetle utopia. Unless, of course, you’ve actually corrected the original issue that made the area attractive to beetles.

Anyway, hopefully they won’t do that, what with it being a nature reserve an’ all.

You can’t force the mangroves to come back. If the location is fundamentally unsuitable due to “development”, they’ll die. It’s as simple as that. Nature can always deploy bigger forces than you can. Every time. AFAIK mangroves are pretty tough plants, so unless you’re actually doing something that hampers their growth, they’ll do just fine.

Possibly, but not necessarily. These things often reach an equilibrium point - it’s unusual for a predator to completely destroy its own source of sustenance. More research needed, as they say.

It won’t actually work, though, will it? If you spray an insecticide, it’ll kill pretty much everything, including things that might be attacking the beetles but haven’t built up a stable population yet. What you won’t kill are most of the larvae, which are safely buried inside the trees. Even if you blast the living fuck out of everything, perhaps with a systemic chemical that the plants take up into their cells, they’ll be right back again next year, or the year after, or whenever the poisons disperse - in a predator-free beetle utopia. Unless, of course, you’ve actually corrected the original issue that made the area attractive to beetles.

Anyway, hopefully they won’t do that, what with it being a nature reserve an’ all.

You can’t force the mangroves to come back. If the location is fundamentally unsuitable due to “development”, they’ll die. It’s as simple as that. Nature can always deploy bigger forces than you can. Every time. AFAIK mangroves are pretty tough plants, so unless you’re actually doing something that hampers their growth, they’ll do just fine.

Possibly, but not necessarily. These things often reach an equilibrium point - it’s unusual for a predator to completely destroy its own source of sustenance. More research needed, as they say.[/quote]
I haven’t heard any woodpeckers here yet.

But maybe this one I just found.
Let’s breed it in captivity till we have them in large numbers and set them free where they are needed. http://www.birdingintaiwan.org/whitebackedwoodpecker.htm

I didn’t need to catch them, that thing in the mangroves landed on my neck, ON MY NECK!

I was just strolling through the mangroves, and suddenly it landed on my neck, I tried swatting it away, but the bug is pretty well built, and took the third try to get it to fly over to the railing.

They are rather pretty, but since one landed on my neck, now they all must die!

at first when I read this thread I thought it was Asian long haired hippie infestation at Danshui…

What bout Asian long haired Beatles ?