How to inform USDA and or APHIS on new pest insect record


Heliconius ismenius telchinia, was identified in a video from Puerto Rico lately. This is a new potential pest on passionvines, a genus that includes some crop species. The identifcation happened within a closed facebook group, with few US-American members. This means that US authorities are probably not aware of this new threat. iNaturalist is strong in the US, which is why I ask here, how to inform US Authorities. We already wrote up a short note, including all involved parties as authors (as far as they were willing to be mentioned). So where should i send that note?

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I dunno about US, but here in NZ, where biosecurity is taken very seriously, we have MPI (ministry of primary industries), and they have a presence on iNat. I had the interesting experience of posting an observation that got their attention, and so for us it just kinda happens automatically!

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In the US there is growing use of iNat for invasive species detection, but my sense is that it’s still very regional and there are several other apps that have been developed and promoted. iNat doesn’t have any formal relationships with them, so I suggest trying the general customer service line/email here.

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