Bee Identification and Information Tool
The Identification Technology Program (ITP) that supports the biosecurity organisation (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture has recently released a new Identification and Information tool – Exotic Bee ID.
Like other countries, the USA has experienced a decline in some bee populations, due to habitat loss, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, as well as the introduction of non-native bee species. Exotic Bee ID has been designed to help those working at ports, state departments and extension services who monitor and intercept non-native bees in the US. It will also be of interest to non-experts with an interest in learning features important in bee identification.
This initial release is the first of three phases: future releases will include keys, fact sheets, and images for additional bee families and genera. This phase includes:
- Instructions on bee specimen preparation
- Bee morphology illustrations
- Illustrated glossary of terms
- Filterable image gallery
- Searchable fact sheets
- Two Lucid keys
Exotic Bee ID can be accessed at: http://idtools.org/id/bees/exotic/
Aquarium and Pond Plants of the World, Edition 3 (APPW e3)
This key, also from the ITP team, is a major revision and update to the 2007 second edition. The worldwide trade in plants for use in aquaria and ponds is of considerable quarantine concern, particularly since many aquatic plants have the ability to disperse widely and become dominant in waterways, displacing native species. APPW e3 aims to cover all genera of aquatic plants cultivated commercially in nurseries and private collections around the world. Initially intended for officials at U.S. ports of entry and state departments of agriculture, this key is also useful to other biosecurity agencies and aquatic plant nursery managers, to help them become aware of invasive aquatic species in their stocks or among new acquisitions.
- 129 new genera; now a total of 270
- An additional 1,460 photos to enhance both new and existing taxa
- An image gallery that is now filterable
- An additional six aquatic federal noxious weed species included
- Illustrated glossary with many new terms
- Restructured, more usable Lucid key
This key can be accessed at https://idtools.org/id/appw/.
Watch for the APPW e3 Lucid Mobile app version, due to be published later this year.
Release of a new web interface to search for pest identification aids
The USDA APHIS ITP team recently announced a new searchable interface for pest identification support. Built in cooperation with North Carolina State University’s Center for Integrated Pest Management, Search ID Aids can be used to quickly find useful web-based identification and screening resources.
ITP maintains an ongoing collection of ID Aids: high-quality web-based tools and apps that support identification of plant pests of concern to PPQ. Each ID Aid is thoroughly reviewed and evaluated to ensure it has value and is from a reputable source. This collection currently includes over 3,800 vetted ID Aids that are image galleries, fact sheets, screening aids, keys of all types, molecular tools, and more, and they cover all plant pest groups. Since we’re continually adding ID Aids, we also have a contact page where we welcome suggestions for pests to cover.
With Search ID Aids both experts and novices can find suitable identification resources. Search by either scientific or common pest name, and then instantly filter your results.
Find Search ID Aids at https://idtools.net/idaids/.