Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Pest detection dogs for wood boring longhorn beetles.

Abstract

Invasive alien species are increasing due to globalization. Their spread has resulted in global economic losses. Asian [Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky)] (ALB) and citrus [A. chinensis (Forster)] (CLB) longhorn beetles are two introduced wood borers which contribute to these economic losses e.g. the destruction of tree plantations. Early detection is key to reduce the ecological influence alongside the detrimental and expensive eradication. Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) can detect these insects, potentially at an early stage. We trained two privately owned dogs to investigate their use as detection tools. We tested the dog's ability to discriminate ALB and CLB from native wood borers by carrying out double-blind and randomized experiments in three search conditions; (1) laboratory, (2) semi-field and (3) standardized field. For condition one, a mean sensitivity of 80%, specificity of 95% and accuracy of 92% were achieved. For condition two and three, a mean sensitivity of 88% and 95%, specificity of 94% and 92% and accuracy of 92% and 93% were achieved. We conclude that dogs can detect all types of traces and remains of ALB and CLB and discriminate them from native wood borers and uninfested wood, but further tests on live insects should be initiated.