Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.
In spring and summer 2002, entomologists first collected a small, bright green beetle from ash trees in the Windsor-Detroit area. None had ever seen this insect before. Two months passed before a taxonomist in Slovakia identified it as Agrilus planipennis, an Asian member of the family Buprestidae. This family has about 15,000 species, with brightly coloured adults ("jewel beetles") and larvae that bore through stems, leaves, roots and logs.