Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1057–1075 | Cite as

Methods and approaches for the management of arthropod border incursions

  • Davina L. SaccaggiEmail author
  • Minette Karsten
  • Mark P. Robertson
  • Sabrina Kumschick
  • Michael J. Somers
  • John R. U. Wilson
  • John S. Terblanche
Insect Invasions


Biological invasions are increasing and are strongly associated with negative agricultural, economic and ecological impacts. It is increasingly recognized that the primary focus in minimizing biological invasions should be to prevent initial entry of alien species. However, exclusion of terrestrial arthropods such as insects and mites is difficult, in part because of their relatively small size, cryptic habits, broad physiological tolerances and close association with various internationally traded goods. Here we discuss methods, approaches, management and intervention systems used by border biosecurity agencies to prevent entry of inadvertently transported arthropods. We examine the at-border systems that exist for the detection and identification of and response to alien arthropods, and discuss the constraints and challenges present in these systems. We critically review current border biosecurity systems and discuss their relative efficacy. We then discuss additional measures and key areas that could be addressed that may further improve these systems. These include: (1) the application of appropriate sampling strategies; (2) employment of suitable inspection methods adequate to detect small and hidden arthropods; and (3) thorough recording of methods, organisms detected and both negative and positive results of inspections. We emphasize that more research is needed on taxonomy, biology, genetics, distribution, host and disease associations, impacts and pathways of introductions for invasive arthropods. Of critical importance is the compilation of complete and accurate invasive species lists and high-risk species watch-lists. The adoption of these recommendations will contribute to improved biosecurity systems for the exclusion of alien, invasive and pest arthropods.


Biosecurity Insects Invasive species Mites Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures 



This paper had its origin at a workshop on “Drivers, impacts, mechanisms and adaptation in insect invasions” hosted by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in November 2014. Additional financial support was provided by HortGro, the National Research Foundation of South Africa, Stellenbosch University, and SubTrop. We thank the workshop participants for useful discussions. SK was supported by the South African National Department of Environment Affairs through its funding of the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s Invasive Species Programme, the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology and the Swiss National Science Foundation. MK is supported by a National Research foundation (NRF) Innovation post-doctoral fellowship. The Grantholder acknowledges that opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in any publication generated by NRF supported research are that of the author(s), and that the NRF accepts no liability whatsoever in this regard. We thank three anonymous reviewers for insightful comments and suggestions which improved the final manuscript. DS thanks G. Tsako (South African Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries) for valuable insight regarding the current limitations in border agencies and permission to use his personal communication in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davina L. Saccaggi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Minette Karsten
    • 2
  • Mark P. Robertson
    • 3
  • Sabrina Kumschick
    • 4
    • 5
  • Michael J. Somers
    • 6
  • John R. U. Wilson
    • 4
    • 5
  • John S. Terblanche
    • 2
  1. 1.Plant Health Diagnostic ServicesDepartment of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)StellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Faculty of AgriSciencesStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  3. 3.Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Zoology and EntomologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and ZoologyStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  5. 5.Invasive Species ProgrammeSouth African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch Research CentreClaremontSouth Africa
  6. 6.Centre for Invasion Biology, Centre for Wildlife ManagementUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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