PHID-Coleo - a database identification tool for wood-boring beetles in plant health interceptions.
Recent examples for the introduction of wood-breeding beetles in Europe include the asian longhorn beetles Anoplophora spp. and Aromia bungii (red-necked longhorn beetle). These and other woodboring beetle species pose a high risk of economic damage to trees and wood products. Smaller beetles like the powderpost beetles from the families Bostrichidae and Lyctidae also have the potential for causing considerable damage. These are often not identified adequately during inspections of wood packaging materials, making it impossible to assess their risk for becoming invasive. This project will aim at closing that gap. Our project PHID-Coleo (=Plant Health Identification of Coleoptera) has the objective to develop new diagnostic tools for the identification of potentially invasive and economically important beetles that can be found in wood packaging materials. The identification methods include classical identification keys based on morphological characters as well as molecular methods based on DNA analysis by PCR (barcoding). The methods for species identification will be supplemented by molecular analyses of introduced populations to clarify within species variations. Such methods will make it possible to determine the taxonomic relationship of samples from different areas and to draw conclusions about the introduction pathways, resulting in more efficient monitoring of the invasive species and preventing their spread. PHID-Coleo will build a freely accessible database of relevant species which are potentially invasive.