Improving Bio-security in the United Kingdom Overseas Territories: Identification service for invasive invertebrate plant pests. 


Accurate and rapid identification is fundamental for the enforcement of quarantine measures to prevent the introduction of, or to effectively control, invasive species in the UKOTs. Entomologists at The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) are conducting a Defra funded project to provide a free Invertebrate Pest Identification Service for government authorities and conservation bodies in the UKOTs.


Download further information about the free Invertebrate Pest Identification Service here >> (PDF, 1,364 kb)


During the initial phase of the project, the diagnostic capabilities within selected UKOTs were assessed, and an identification service established. The pilot service received much positive feedback and a large number of invertebrate samples were submitted to Fera.


The project is now in its third phase the scope has been widened to include all UKOTs.  The duration of the service has been extended until at least April 2012. Thus far the project has generated many valuable contributions to the invertebrate fauna of four of the UKOTs. It has highlighted a large number of previously unreported non-native species introductions, and perhaps more surprising, approximately eight species apparently new to science have been discovered.


Download a list of species identified from February to April 2010 (PDF, 201 kb)

Download a list of species identified from July 2010 to April 2011 (PDF, 216 kb)


If you would like to receive support in the diagnosis of plant pest invertebrates please contact Fera by and they will provide you with details of how to preserve samples and where to send them.  Fera aim to provide at least a provisional diagnosis to you within 3 working days from receipt of sample. Fera always identify to species level where possible, and provide biological information such as host preference, distribution etc. when known.

It is important to clarify that Fera have a wealth of experience and expertise in the identification of all plant-feeding insect orders, plant-feeding mites and plant-parasitic nematodes, but may not be able to assist with the identification of other invertebrates.