Data Set Citation

When using this data, please cite the data package
Aukema J and McCullough D.
Non-native forest insects and pathogens in the continental US
nuding.7.9 (

General Information

Title:Non-native forest insects and pathogens in the continental US
This is a database of 455 nonindigenous forest insect species and 16 pathogen species, compiled from published sources and expert input, with at least one recorded location of establishment in the continental United States. Species that have gradually expanded their range in a continuous fashion as a result of migration or climate change, and indigenous invaders, i.e. species native to the US introduced into previously uncolonized regions of the US, were excluded. Species included in our list had to feed on at least one tree species represented in the national Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database maintained by the USDA Forest Service. We excluded insects and pathogens that primarily colonize citrus, shrubs, herbaceous plants, dead or processed wood as well as those that are primarily detritivores, predatory, parasitic, pollinators, aquatic, or that feed only occasionally on trees.
  • Invasive species
  • introduced species
  • insects
  • pathogens

Data Table, Image, and Other Data Details:

Metadata download Ecological Metadata Language (EML) File
Data Table:Pest_list_public.csv ( View Metadata | Download File download)

Involved Parties

Data Set Creators

Individual: Juliann Aukema
Organization:National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Organization:NCEAS 12031: Aukema: Non-native forest insects and pathogens in the continental US
Email Address:
Individual: Deborah McCullough
Organization:Michigan State University, Dept. of Entomology and Dept. of Forestry
Email Address:

Data Set Contacts

Individual: Juliann Aukema
Email Address:
Individual: Deborah McCullough
Email Address:

Associated Parties

Individual: Andrew Liebhold
Individual: Betsy Von Holle
Individual: Kerry Britton
Individual: Susan Frankel

Data Set Characteristics

Geographic Region:
Geographic Description:The continental US
Bounding Coordinates:
West:  -126.0  degrees
East:  -59.25  degrees
North:  54.5  degrees
South:  23.625  degrees
Time Period:

Sampling, Processing and Quality Control Methods

Step by Step Procedures
Step 1:  

List Compilation

To compile our insect list, we started with a list of non-indigenous insects native to Europe that feed on woody plants in North America (Mattson WJ et al. 1994, Mattson W. et al. 2007). Species that did not meet our criteria (e.g. citrus feeders) were deleted. We added additional insect species that met our criteria, including insects native to regions other than Europe and recently established insect species, based on published reports and communication with experts (e.g. Haack 2006, Langor et al. 2009, R. Rabaglia, US Forest Service, pers. comm.).

For each insect species on our list, we recorded taxonomy (order, family, genus, species), year or approximate year that the species was detected or identified in the US (when known), feeding guild, and primary host(s) species (when available). For the family Curculionidae, we distinguished between the subfamily Scolytinae, which includes bark and ambrosia beetles, and other curculionids (weevils) for some analyses because of differences between these groups in behavior, survey efforts and potential impacts. Insects in the order Hemiptera were grouped by suborder for some analyses when we wished to distinguish among Prosorryncha (true bugs), Clypeorryncha (leafhoppers, froghoppers), and Sternorrhyncha (aphids, adelgids, scales, whiteflies).

When the date of detection for a given species was approximate, we used the following guidelines for analysis: approximately 1950 = 1950; < 1950 = 1949; 1950s = 1955; 1800s = 1850. When more than one date was reported, we used the earliest date for analysis (e.g. 1950; 1956 = 1950). In some cases, the detection date was noted only as occurring in the 'early', 'mid', or 'late' portions of the 19th or 20th century. For these species, we divided the century into thirds and used the mid-point for analysis. For example, 1816, 1850, or 1883 were used for species first identified in the 'early', 'mid', or 'late' 1800s, respectively. Similarly, we assigned dates to species first identified in the 'early', mid', or 'late' portion of a given decade. For example, 1922, 1925, or 1928 were used for pests first identified in the 'early', mid', or 'late' 1920s, respectively. Although we used the earliest date of detection for our analyses, we recognize that lag times are inherent in these records.

Insect species were assigned to feeding guilds based on their dominant or most damaging feeding mode. Defoliators included insects that feed externally or internally on foliage, including leaf miners and shoot-feeders. Borers included species that feed aboveground on phloem, cambium and/or wood. Sap-feeders included gall-forming adelgids, as well as other insects such as scales, aphids, psyllids and whiteflies. Species that feed primarily on roots, seeds, cones or fruit were assigned to the “Other” guild. Insects that feed on different plant tissues as immatures and adults were assigned to the feeding guild most associated with injury or damage. For example, emerald ash borer was assigned to the borer guild because phloem-feeding by larvae causes tree mortality, while foliage-feeding by adults causes negligible injury.

Host breadth of each species was also included in our list, following the classifications of Niemela and Mattson (1996). Species with a host range confined to a single genus were recorded as monophagous, while species that feed on multiple genera of a single plant family were recorded as oligophagous. Species that feed on hosts representing multiple plant families were considered to be polyphagous.

Data Set Usage Rights

This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigator is encouraged. Publication and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement.
Access Control:
Auth System:knb
Allow: [read] public
Allow: [read] [write] [changePermission] uid=aukema,o=NCEAS,dc=ecoinformatics,dc=org
Metadata download Ecological Metadata Language (EML) File