Recent Immigrant Insect Fauna—Another Look at a Classic Analysis
In 1978, Reece Sailer published a seminal retrospective entitled ‘Our Immigrant Insect Fauna.’ His goals were to better understand the origins and historical patterns of alien insect species introductions into the United States and establish a baseline for future work to improve our ability to respond to environmental and agricultural wellbeing threats. We updated Sailer’s study to include information on species introduced recently into the United States and that are now targeted by regulatory agencies. The recent trends (recorded through 2016) are different from those reported by Sailer. Asian-origin species are much more important than in 1978 and predominate today. Nevertheless, introductions from all parts of the world have continued. Although the diversity of alien species’ origins has increased through time, there has not been a corresponding change in the rate of introductions of species of phytosanitary importance. This finding is inconsistent with our original assumption of a positive nonlinear relationship with international trade imports. Our findings will assist in identifying and prioritizing potential highrisk plant pests as well as enhancing biosecurity capacities.