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  • Author or Editor: G. Koch x
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Morphological identification of larvae and adults of the EU quarantine pest Thrips palmi is one of the routine procedures of the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) of the Dutch Plant Protection Service. The quality of a morphological identification depends on several technical requirements, most important of which are laboratory facilities, literature, reference collection, quality of the available specimen(s) and skills of the specialist. To be able to consistently produce valid identification results, the NRL has implemented a documented quality management system within the laboratory since 2007. ISO/IEC 17025 is used to demonstrate our competence on Thrips palmi identification under a fixed scope, “Morphological identification of T. palmi adults”. The EPPO PM 7/98 guidance for entomology sets specific requirements for this process to enable the validation of morphological identification of T. palmi adults. It is concluded that of the requirements “selectivity” can be applicable for T. palmi samples and “repeatability” is very difficult to measure for the lack of fresh samples with look-alikes. T. palmi is a well-defined species, but for species which are taxonomically “in disdussion” this guidance cannot be used and validation is not an option. The validity of identifications in entomology should be focused more on confirmation of identifications instead on the validity of a work instruction.

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