APHIS recognizes Ingram Carner with a certificate of appreciation for being the first person in the United States to spot the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB).
ALB experts Joseph Gittleman of APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarrantine program and Joan Mahoney of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets recognized Carner in April.
Carner first noticed small holes in the Norway maples on his property in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1996. The holes were slightly smaller than a dime, but larger than the diameter of a pencil. The holes were identified as the exit holes where the invasive ALB emerges from the tree trunk. At first, Carner thought the holes were the work of vandals, but later spotted the beetle on the same trees, which have a distinct appearance. He reported it to authorities, which eventually led to eradication efforts and regulation changes that are still underway today. The insect has since been found in other areas of New York City, Long Island, Staten Island, northern New Jersey, Illinois and Massachussetts.
Carner also received a certificate of appreciation, a plaque, and an autographed copy of a book about the ALB.
It’s notable that Carner isn’t a trained naturalist, botanist or entomologist—he’s a citizen with a sharp eye who knew something was amiss and performed his civic duty in reporting it. If you suspect your trees may be infested, or just want to learn more about the ALB in the United States, visit http://www.beetlebusters.info.