Monday, October 25, 2010

Screening Aid to Pests

Authors: Amanda J. Redford, Terrence Walters, Amanda Hodges, Forrest W. Howard, and Matthew Trice

CPHST is pleased to announce the release of its newest identification tool: A Resource for Pests and Diseases of Cultivated Palms: Screening Aid to Pests,developed through collaboration among USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST, University of Florida, and the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network. Screening Aid to Pests(SAP) the first of six tools being developed to support the screening and detection of pests and diseases of cultivated palms in the U.S. and Caribbean, is aimed primarily at the novice entomologist.

SAP was designed to help users determine which type of arthropod palm pest they have found and features illustrated fact sheets with descriptions of each pest as well as two interactive keys. There is an adult key that helps the user with identifying the order of the pest, and then offers the ability to identify to a lower rank, such as family, genus, or species, as well as a key to select larval species. In the keys themselves, common language terms are used to help support use of the keys by inexperienced individuals. However, in order to maximize their value and validity, some specialized entomological terminology appears in the fact sheets. A glossary with links from the fact sheets, as well as an an illustrated primer to insect anatomy, assist the user in understanding such terms.

SAP is available on the Internet at: