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Abdomen - The part of an animal’s body that contains the digestive system and the organs of reproduction. In insects and spiders, the abdomen makes up the rear of the body. 

Adaptation - A change that occurs in an animal’s behavior or body that allows it to survive and reproduce in new conditions.

Antenna - A slender organ on an animal’s head that it uses to sense its surroundings.  Insects have two antennae, which are known as “feelers.” Antennae is the plural form of the word.

Aquatic - An organism that lives all, or most of the time, in water.

Arthropods - An animal with jointed legs and a hard exoskeleton. Arthropods make up the largest group of animals on Earth and include insects, spiders, crustaceans, centipedes, and millipedes.


Ballast - Heavy material carried temporarily or permanently in a shipping vessel to provide stability.

Biodiversity -

Borer - An insect that bores into a material, for example wood, leaving behind a tunnel.  The Emerald Ash Borer is a wood boring insect.

Buffer - To cushion, shield, or protect from adverse effect.


Cambium - The layer of a tree where growth occurs, just beneath the bark.

Camouflage - The colors and patterns of an animal that blend in with the background to help conceal it from predators and ambush prey.

Canopy - The cover formed by the leafy upper branches of a tree.

Chamber - A compartment or enclosed space.

Characteristic - A distinguishing feature or quality.

Chitin - A hard substance that fills the exoskeleton and gives it strength. Like plastic, chitin is hard and is used to provide structure. It is covered with waxy substances that help prevent the insect from drying out.

Chrysalis - The pupa of certain kinds of insects, especially of moths and butterflies, that is inactive and enclosed in a firm case or cocoon from which the adult eventually emerges.

Coevolved - Closely associated species that have acted as agents of natural selection on one another.

Cold-blooded - Not able to keep the body at a stable, warm temperature by internal means. All arthropods are cold-blooded. 

Colony - A group of closely related animals that live together.

Complete metamorphosis - A way of growing in which a young insect first hatches from an egg in the form of a worm-like immature called a larva. From this stage it changes to a pupa (an intermediate stage) and then finally, the insect becomes an adult. A butterfly experiences complete metamorphosis.

Compound eye - An eye comprised of many smaller eyes, each with its own lens.  Compound eyes are found in most insects.

Crevice - A narrow crack or opening.


Data - Facts, statistics, or items of information.

Detection tree - A tree that is used to attract pests with chemical signals that are released after the tree has been stressed by natural or intentional means. Synonymous with the term trap tree.  

Discriminate - To recognize or perceive the difference between two or more choices.

Dunnage - Loose material laid beneath, or wedged among, objects carried by ship or rail to prevent injury from rocking, rubbing, or moving during transit. 


Emergence -The gradual beginning or coming forth; the act of becoming visible.

Entomologist - A scientist who studies insects.

Entomology - The scientific study of insects.

Epicormic shoots - Shoots that develop directly from the trunk of a tree or shrub after the tree has suffered injury to its roots or vascular system.

Erosion - The process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, winds, or waves.

Evidence - Something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign.

Evolution - The gradual change, over many generations, in plant and animal species as they adapt to new conditions or new environments.

Exoskeleton - A hard external skeleton or body case that protects and supports an animal’s body. All arthropods are protected in this way.

Exotic species - A species of foreign origin or character; that which is not native.

Excrement - Waste dispelled from the body after digestion. 


Frass - Insect excrement.


Gallery - A small tunnel or passageway made by an insect or animal.

Girdle - To cut away a tree’s bark and cambium in a ring around the trunk or a branch.

Globalization -


Habitat - The natural home of an animal or plant. 

Head - The first of three insect body regions. The head contains mouthparts and antennae.

Host species - A living animal or plant from which a parasite obtains nutrition.

Human induced pathways - Pathways created or enhanced by the movement of humans.


Identify - To recognize or establish as being a particular person or thing; to verify the identity of.

Incomplete metamorphosis - A way of developing in which a young insect hatches from an egg as a nymph, and then develops into an adult. A grasshopper has incomplete metamorphosis.

Infestation - To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious; to live in, or on, as a parasite.

Instars - Time periods between molts.

Invasive species - Any species, including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material, that is not native to that ecosystem and whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Invertebrate - An animal without a backbone. Some invertebrates are soft-bodied, but others, including insects, are protected by hard body cases.

Iridescent - Displaying shining or glittering colors like those of a rainbow. 


Larva(e) - A young animal that looks completely different from its parents. Some insect larvae (the plural form) change into adults by complete metamorphosis.  A beetle larva is sometimes called a grub.

Larval gallery - The tunnel left behind as larvae feed in the cambium.  


Mandibles - Parts of the mouth that are jaw-like.

Metamorphosis - A way of developing in which an animal’s body changes shape.  Insects that go directly from egg to adult without a worm-like immature stage are said to have incomplete metamorphosis. Other insects that go through a worm-like immature stage followed by a stage when the developing insect is enclosed in a protective case called a pupa. Insects that go through a pupa stage are said to have complete metamorphosis.


Natural enemy - A living organism that kills a pest. Examples are a fungus that kills wood boring insects, a predatory beetle that feeds on wood borers below the surface of the bark of the tree, or a wasp that lays its eggs inside the body of a wood boring larva.  

Natural pathways - Represent or parallel the natural movement of animals and plants on the Earth.

Nectar - Sweet honey-like liquid produced by flowering plants to attract pollinators.

Non-indigenous - Not originating, or occurring naturally in an area or environment.

Nursery - A place where young trees or other plants are raised for transplanting, for sale, or for experimental study.

Nutrient - Any substance that can be metabolized by an animal to give energy and build tissue.


Order - A major group used to classify living things.


Parasite - An organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from which it feeds.  

Pallet - A portable platform used for storing or moving cargo or freight, usually made of wood.

Pheromone - A chemical signal released by an animal or a plant that affects the behavior of others.  Many insects use pheromones to attract mates or signal danger.

Pinnately compound - Compounded with the leaflets or segments along each side of a common axis; feather-like.

Pollen - A dust-like substance produced by male flowers or the male organs in a flower, and used in reproduction.

Predator - An animal that lives mainly by killing and eating other animals.

Primary pest - An injurious insect that is capable of damaging vigorous, healthy plants.

Pupa - The intermediate stage between larva and adult stages.

Pupation - To develop into a pupa from a larva.


Quarantine - Enforced isolation or restriction of free movement imposed to prevent spread.  


Regulation - A principle, rule, or law designed to control or govern conduct.

Resistance - The capacity of an organism to defend itself against a disease or withstand the effects of a harmful environmental agent.

Rural - Pertaining to, or characteristic of, the country, country life, or country people.


Samaras - A dry, winged, often one-seeded fruit, found on ash, elm, or maple trees.

Secondary pest - An injurious organism capable of damaging weakened or stressed plants.

Solid wood packing material - Wooden packaging materials such as boxes, pallets, crates, and dunnage that are used for shipping. 

Stressed - When applied to a plant, it refers to being deprived of some essential nutrient, water, or light.

Segment - One of the parts into which something naturally separates or is divided; a division, portion, or section.

Spiracle - A round opening that leads into an insect’s trachea, or breathing tube.

Suburbs - A residential area or community outlying a city.

Survey - To systematically search for, and record, the presence of an organism in an area.


Thorax - The middle part of an insect’s body, between its head and abdomen, to which the legs and wings are attached.

Trap tree - Please see detection tree.


Urban - Pertaining to a city or town.


Vascular - Pertaining to, composed of, or provided with vessels or ducts that convey fluids, such as blood, or sap.

Vectors -

Vertebrate - An animal possessing a spine.

Vertical split - A split running up and down the bark of trees that can be caused by larval feeding or sunlight on very cold days.


Warm-blooded - Able to keep the internal body temperature regulated by internal means.