Public Release:  CSI and alien invaders in Puerto Rico

Forensic science and invasive species to be discussed at entomology meeting

Entomological Society of America

"CSI Puerto Rico: Adventures in Forensic Entomology" and "Invasive Alien Species in the Caribbean Basin of Concern to the USA" are just two of the symposia that will be presented at a joint meeting between the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the Caribbean Division of the American Phytopathological Society (APS).

The meeting will take place at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, March 19-22, 2011, as hundreds of entomologists and plant pathologists get together to discuss agricultural and environmental problems caused by insects and plant diseases (more information at

The increase of international travel and trade has allowed alien insects from different parts of the world to emerge in places they didn't previously exist, and each year they cost farmers millions of dollars as they destroy crops and spread diseases. ESA and APS will address these problems during the meeting, whose theme this year is "Exotic Species: A Shared Experience."

Some of the presentations dealing with these issues include:

  • Invasive Pests and Diseases of Palm
  • Bugs Without Borders: Unintended spread of Intentionally Introduced Herbivores
  • Networking as a Successful Invasive Species Detection Tool
  • Exotic Pests and the Movement of Plant Material
  • Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus), an Invasive Pest that Threatens the U.S. Nursery and Palm Industry
  • Environmental factors influencing potential distribution of the Formosan subterranean termite

And on Tuesday, March 22, a symposium entitled "CSI Puerto Rico: Adventures in Forensic Entomology" will feature the following presentations:

  • Insects: Helping Solve Crimes Since 1325
  • The "Dirt" on Forensic Entomology
  • Discovery and Recovery: How One Thing Leads to Another
  • Forensic Entomology: The Insects in the Crime Scene
  • The Great Maggot Escape: The Trials and Tribulations of Rearing Black Soldier Flies
  • How Important is Resource and Community Composition? The Physiological Effects that Mediate Competitive Interactions
  • Blow Flies and Parenting: How Adult Decisions Maximize Offspring Potential
  • Integrating Ecology and Insect Evidence: The Paradigm Shift in Forensic Science

Other presentations during the four-day meeting will address issues such as insecticide resistance, fire ants, termites, stink bugs, fruit flies, bees, ticks, mites, pheromones, pest-resistant crops, the use of insects to control weeds (biocontrol), and diseases that affect banana and citrus fruits. The entire program is available at Members of the media can obtain press passes by contacting Richard Levine at


The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is the largest organization in the world dedicated to the science, magic, and mystery of the world's most abundant life form -- insects. With more than 6,000 active members, the ESA helps to promote understanding of insects and solve world problems associated with them, including world hunger, disease prevention, and urban pest control. ESA is a 501c(3) not-for-profit membership society headquartered in Lanham, MD.

The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a nonprofit, professional scientific organization. The research of the organization's 5,000 worldwide members advances the understanding of the science of plant pathology and its application to plant health.

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