Insect ID Lab

The Insect ID Lab in the Entomology & Nematology Department at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida serves as the hub entomology component of the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network (SPDN) Regional Center and the Florida Plant Diagnostic Network (FPDN).

The Insect ID lab manager is Lyle Buss. Commodity and taxonomic specialists within the University of Florida/IFAS Extension System and the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry (FDACS-DPI) are consulted on an as-needed basis for final species determination of unusual specimens. FDACS-DPI scientists curate an extremely valuable reference source for identifications within Florida, the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (FSCA).

The Insect ID Lab is open from 8-12:00 AM and 1-5:00 PM Monday - Friday (except for University Holidays).

Sample Submission

  1. Most insect samples can be submitted in a 70% alcohol or isopropyl solution.
  2. Caterpillars will not preserve well in alcohol, and some pests of specific concern may require different protocols.
  3. Only mail insect samples in a sturdy box or mailing tube.
  4. Samples may be mailed or delivered directly to the lab.
  5. Include the UF IFAS Sample Submission Form.
  6. For further assistance, contact your Local UF IFAS County Extension Office.
  7. Your local county extension agent will be able to assist you in determining if you have detected a high-risk or unusual pest of concern. High-risk, suspect exotic pest samples are processed immediately. See links to the latest pests of concern for Florida's plant-based agricultural systems as well as information on upcoming First Detector training opportunities-'Educate to Detect' exotic, invasive plant pests.
  8. Contact your local county extension agent for information regarding the UF IFAS Distance Diagnostic and Identification System

Other FPDN Clinics

Contact for Insect ID Lab

Lyle Buss
Senior Biological Scientist - Insect ID Lab Manager