Developing simplified identification guides for border control throughout the Pacific.

Franz-Rudolf Schnitzler *1, James Haw 1, Lalith Kumarasinghe 1, Sherly George 1

1 Plant Health & Environment Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Developing a simplified Lepidoptera larvae and Coleoptera identification manual is part of the project “Enhancement of Biosecurity and Quarantine Services in the Pacific Countries”, funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme. The manuals are prepared using invertebrate interception data collected from fresh produce imported into New Zealand. Imports into New Zealand cover a wide range of fresh produce from all over the world and those commodities are essentially the same as those imported into Pacific Island Countries. The manuals provide information on the recognition of common interceptions as well as economically significant pests associated with frequently imported and exported fresh produce from Pacific Island Countries. Moreover, the scope was expanded to include some potential interceptions, NZ natives, and other taxa of importance. The identification manual to lepidopteran larvae contains keys to larvae of 22 families, and covers 70 genera and 71 species. The coleopteran manual contains keys to adults of 33 families, covering approx. 151 genera and 192 species. The keys are simplified using basic terms where possible and contain multiple photographic and diagrammatic illustrations. Thus the manual as an identification tool is expected to assist biosecurity officers throughout the Pacific in informed decision making.

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