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First Nationwide Pest Interception by Agriculture Specialists

Release Date: 
August 30, 2010

West Palm Beach, Fla. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the port of West Palm Beach, Fla. recently made a first-ever interception of a pest, before it could cause damage to crops in the United States.

Cryptocephalus is a genus in the leaf beetle family (Chrysomelidae).

Cryptocephalus is a genus in the leaf beetle family (Chrysomelidae). They are commonly called cylindrical or case-bearing leaf beetles named for their habit of carrying a case of waste material as larvae while feeding on plant material.

On Aug. 3, a West Palm Beach CBP agriculture specialist discovered an adult beetle, Cryptocephalus bullatus (Chrysomelidae) on a commercial importation of coconuts from the Dominican Republic.

The specimen was forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory for identification and a final report was forwarded that confirmed CBP's identification of the pest. This is a first nationwide interception of this species according to available records in the Pest Identification Database.

Cryptocephalus is a genus in the leaf beetle family (Chrysomelidae). They are commonly called cylindrical or case-bearing leaf beetles named for their habit of carrying a case of waste material as larvae while feeding on plant material.

"South Florida serves as a potential pathway for the entry of devastating exotic agricultural pests and diseases," said Sidney Aki, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations for the Miami Field Office. "CBP agriculture specialists work diligently to safeguard American agriculture by preventing the introduction of harmful pest, plant and animal diseases from entering our country."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017