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Unravelling the status of partially identified insect biological control agents introduced to control insects: an analysis of BIOCAT2010

Cock, Matthew J. W.
BioControl 2019 v.64 no.1 pp. 1-7
biological control, biological control agents, databases, insects, quality control
The BIOCAT2010 (corrected) database of introductions of insects used as classical biological control agents (BCAs) against insects was analysed to recognise those introductions which involved a partially identified BCA, e.g. named to genus or family, but not to species. Quality controls made on a selection of these checked whether new taxonomic information in the literature had been missed from the database and this was found to be infrequent. Of 6227 BCA introductions since the 19th century, 686 (11.0%) were not identified to species level, and 74 were only identified to family or order level. Patterns by taxonomic group and countries making the introductions and the overall trend over time are presented. Since the 1990s, partially identified BCAs have been hardly used. Steps to ensure that partially identified BCAs can be identified in future are set out, and suggestions made regarding the scope for retroactive studies to recognise and name partially identified BCAs.