Identifying Stored-Grain Insects Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

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Proper identification of insects in grain storage facilities is critical for predicting development of pest populations and for making management decisions. However, many stored-grain insect pests are difficult to identify, even for trained personnel. We examined the possibility that near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy could be used for taxonomic purposes based on the premise that every species may have a unique chemical composition. Tests were conducted with 11 species of beetles commonly associated with stored grain. Spectra from individual insects were collected by using a near-infrared diode-array spectrometer. Calibrations were developed by using partial least squares analysis and neural networks. The neural networks calibration correctly identified >99% of test insects as primary or secondary pests and correctly identified >95% of test insects to genus. Evidence indicates that absorption characteristics of cuticular lipids may contribute to the classification of these species. We believe that this technology could be used for rapid, automated identification of many other organisms.

Keywords: beetles; near-infrared spectroscopy; neural networks; stored grain; taxonomy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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