GLOUCESTER CITY — U.S. Customs and Border Protection say they caught a stowaway with the potential to wreak havoc on the area's agriculture — a longhorn beetle found in a shipment of Ecuadorian bananas.

It's the first instance of the particular showing up in New Jersey, according to the CBP.

The beetle had been found during a produce container inspection, and the next day, a USDA entomologist determined the specimen was psapharochrus bivittus (cerambycidae) — with an additional comment that the specimen was a new one. Later in the month, the USDA national pest identification database confirmed the specimen was the first of its kind in the U.S.

Insects in the cerambycidae, or longhorn beetle, family "are significant pests to living trees with potential to cause extensive damage and massive losses to living trees, untreated lumber and native tree species," the CBP said in an announcement of the find.

“Intercepting destructive insect invaders at our nation’s borders, and before they can threaten our agriculture industries, is of great importance to Customs and Border Protection,” Susan Stranieri, CBP area port director for the Port of Philadelphia, said in the announcement. “CBP agriculture specialists take their job very seriously, and this ‘First-in-Nation’ insect interception is a significant discovery.”

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