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Brownsville Port of Entry CBP Agriculture Specialists Intercept First in Port Pest in Corn

Release Date: 
August 15, 2016

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Veterans International Bridge import cargo lot intercepted a “First in Port” pest in a shipment of fresh corn.   

“The interception of this miniscule, yet destructive pest, for the first time at the Port of Brownsville, is an outstanding example of the diligence and dedication of our CBP agriculture specialists in safeguarding the agriculture of the United States,” said Port Director Petra Horne, Brownsville Port of Entry.

A specimen of Oncometopia clarior (Walker) seized by CBP agriculture specialists at Brownsville Port of Entry
A specimen of Oncometopia clarior (Walker), a
first in port pest, seized by CBP agriculture
specialists at Brownsville Port of Entry

The interception occurred on July 27, at the Veterans International Bridge import lot when a shipment of fresh corn was referred to agriculture for inspection.  Upon inspection of the corn, CBP agriculture specialists intercepted a pest.  The pest was submitted for identification to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist who identified it as Oncometopia clarior (Walker) (Cicadellidae) an actionable pest. On July 28, 2016, identifiers with U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Inspection Station, confirmed the interception of Oncometopia clarior (Walker) (Cicadellidae), as a first time interception at the Port of Brownsville.            

Oncometopia clarior (Walker) is a pest not known to occur in the United States. This insect belongs to the Cicadellidae family, commonly known as leafhoppers.  Many leafhoppers are serious pests of cultivated plants, and a few act as vectors of plant diseases.

Given the quarantine status of Oncometopia clarior (Walker), the shipment of corn was re-exported to Mexico as a precautionary measure.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017