Insect identification resources

Being able to identify common insects in your berry stand will help you understand the relationships between plants and insects to help you become a better manager. A majority of the insects encountered in wild and cultivated berry stands play a beneficial role, such as pollinators or predators of potential pests, but some may be pests that decrease yields. Below are some resources that growers can consult as a starting point to learning more about insects in Alaska.

Books:

Insects of South-central Alaska by Dominique Collet. Although the title professes a focus on south-central Alaska, most species described can be found throughout the state. Excellent photos and descriptions make this a useful guide for the amateur through professional.

Agencies:

Cooperative Extension Service – Integrated Pest Management program. Have you collected an insect that you suspect is a pest? You can contact your local IPM technician for assistance identifying the insect and to provide you with management information. If you live in an area without a local Cooperative Extension Office and are good with a camera you can submit photos and information through the digital portal and be connected with the nearest IPM technician. Through the Extension IPM website you can also search available publications, such as Beneficial Insects and Spiders of Alaska.

US Forest Service – Forest Health Protection Program. Their website has resources about forest pests, some of which cross-over to berry plants.

Websites:

UAF Museum of the North – Entomology Collection. Learn more about the variety of insects that have been documented in Alaska. This website, and the searchable ARCTOS database, is most useful if you already know a bit about the insect in question and you are just checking to confirm its existence in Alaska. You can also look through all the insect records in ARCTOS that have pictures in the record.

Alaska Entomological Society – Are you REALLY interested in Alaska’s insects? You may want to consider joining this society to support further investigation and awareness of Alaska’s insects.

Berries Northwest – Although not Alaska specific, this site could be an excellent first step to diagnosing an insect or pest problem. You can search by crop or pest, then look through descriptions and management options.

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