Spotlight PestNet Upgrade


PestNet is an online service that provides pest and disease identification and management advice for the South Pacific and Asia. A PestNet team of moderators set up a Yahoo group platform in December 1999 to provide supervised email communication regarding pest, disease and other queries, often with photograph attachments. Other community members can respond to these requests, providing a possible identification or diagnosis. Currently, PestNet includes other regions and has over 1500 members.

Pacific Pests and PathogensThe Lucid team was initially involved with PestNet to provide technical support to improve the PestNet database. This led to support for the development of the Lucid Mobile app, Pacific Pests & Pathogens [Android] [iOS]that provides numerous Fact sheets on pests and diseases for most of the crops grown in the South Pacific region. There are currently 350 Full Fact Sheets, 350 Mini Fact sheets (summarised for farmers and growers) and another 50 being prepared for the next update of the Android and Apple versions of the app.

The latest collaboration between PestNet and Identic has been to upgrade the PestNet platform, taking advantage of recent software and hardware developments to achieve a more efficient and effective PestNet communication system. Identic has been sub-contracted to do the technical component of this work as part of a project managed by the University of Queensland and funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The upgrade involves a data repository and two apps: one for desktop computers and the other for Android and Apple mobile devices.

PestNet Community web application

The screen shot above shows several filtered Identification requests, as viewed online by a PestNet moderator, showing “Delete”, “Approve” and “Edit” buttons. The last submission has been expanded, showing text and three images, which were automatically thumb-nailed during the submission process. The larger size is viewed by clicking on the thumbnail.

These two screen shots (below) show two request submissions as they appear when viewed in the new PestNet app.

PestNet Community mobile application screen one PestNet Community mobile application screen two

The online version of the new PestNet platform is operational, and can be accessed here. The Android and Apple apps will be released early next year.

As well as providing more effective and flexible support for the functions that PestNet has provided in the past, features of the new online core repository provide automated data processing functionality, including non-response alerts, the potential for incorporating pest alerts and pest reports, and providing links to distribution maps and translation services.

If you would like to join PestNet visit

Lucid in Korea

Plant quarantine talk KoreaIn early November, Geoff Norton gave two seminars on Lucid based digital tools. The first seminar, at the Korean Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (, focussed on the increasing use of Lucid based tools in quarantine, including examples from the USA and Europe.

Plant quarantine talk Korea

The second seminar – involving staff and post-graduate students at Chungbuk National University ( – was more concerned with the general role that Lucid based tools are playing in more general agricultural support.

Plant quarantine talk Korea

Given that taxonomic and crop diagnostic expertise has seen an almost universal decline in recent years, the seminar provided examples of how identification and crop diagnostic apps have been developed and used to provide systematic help and information to support quarantine and plant protection decisions. For more information – contact Geoff at [email protected]

Lucid keys and apps coming soon

  • Sheep Parasites by the University of Melbourne. Undergoing testing – expected release early 2019.(Lucid Mobile)
  • Edible wild orchids of Zambia by KEW Gardens. (Lucid Mobile)
  • Wilding conifer of New Zealand, Landcare Research, New Zealand. (Lucid Mobile)
  • Adult Frogs and tadpoles, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil. (Lucid Mobile)

More information will be available on these key once released.

Spider mite species of Australia (including key exotic southeast Asian pest species)

This interactive Lucid key provides diagnostics for all the species of spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) previously recorded in Australia, based mostly on literature records. Several species collected in Australia, but not yet recorded in the literature, are also included (manuscript in prep). In addition, a few select exotic species from south east Asia of concern to Australia’s biosecurity have also been included.

Author: Jennifer J Beard, Queensland Museum (

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Thrips of the British Isles

This Lucid based identification and information system includes 177 species of thrips that have been taken alive on the British Isles at least once. It provides a means of identifying species, together with an introduction to what is known of the biology and distribution of each species.

Developed by Laurence Mound (Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO), Dom Collins (The Hunterian University of Glasgow) and Anne Hastings (Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO)

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