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Alien beetle species intercepted before Hawaii arrival

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:04 p.m. HST, Jul 1, 2013

Federal customs and border protection agricultural specialists have intercepted the first known case of longhorn beetles in a shipment of handicrafts made from tree palm.

The shipment was in a cargo container from Indonesia and discovered on June 13, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported. It was sent back to Indonesia.

Federal officials sealed the container. Specimens were submitted to the federal Animal Plant Health Inspection Service in Honolulu. The insects were identified as Pterolophia, a type of longhorn beetle

Federal officials said some species of longhorn beetles are serious pests, and can cause extensive damage to trees and wood products. In order to prevent the possibility of a new invasive species becoming established in Hawaii, the shipment was refused entry to the United States.

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