Citizen Science To Surveillance: Estimating Reporting Probabilities Of Exotic Insect Pests

Up until mid-2016, citizen science uploads to the Atlas of Living Australia included c. 400 bug species, and c. 1,000 beetle species. Given the short time period (c. 3 years) over which most of these records have accumulated, this represents a considerable reporting effort. The key applied question from a biosecurity context is how this level of reporting translates to the detection and reporting of exotic insect pests in the event of an incursion.
We use a case-control design to model the probability of existing insect species being reported via citizen science channels feeding into the Atlas of Living Australia. The effect of insect features (size, colour, pattern, morphology) and geographic distribution on reporting rates are explored as explanatory variables. We then apply the model to exotic high priority pest species to predict their reporting rates in the event of their introduction.