Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319908

Title: ScaleNet: A literature-based model of scale insect biology and systematics

item MORALES, M. - Auburn University
item DENNO, B. - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item MILLER, D. - Retired ARS Employee
item Miller, Gary
item BEN-DOV, Y. - Agricultural Research Organization Of Israel
item HARDY, N. - Auburn University

Submitted to: Database: The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2015
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Citation: Morales, M.G., Denno, B.D., Miller, D.R., Miller, G.L., Ben-Dov, Y., Hardy, N.B. 2016. ScaleNet: A literature-based model of scale insect biology and systematics. Database: The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation. 24(1):112-142.

Interpretive Summary: Scale insects cause billions of dollars in damage and control costs annually as serious pests of agricultural crops. The primary source of information about this important group of pests is a database system called ScaleNet that was developed and maintained for the past 20 years. It contains critical information about all of the 8,000 + species. This paper is written to document the development of a new data management platform so that it is easier to administrate, access, and enhance. The new system will be beneficial to scientists, action-agency personnel, and control specialists.

Technical Abstract: Scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) are small herbivorous insects found in all continents except Antarctica. They are extremely invasive, and many species are serious agricultural pests. They are also emerging models for studies of the evolution of genetic systems, endosymbiosis, and plant-insect interactions. ScaleNet was launched in 1995 to provide insect identifiers, pest managers, insect systematists, evolutionary biologists, and ecologists efficient access to information about scale insect biological diversity. It provides comprehensive information on scale insects taken directly from the primary literature. Currently, it draws from 23,477 papers and describes the systematics and biology of 8,194 valid species. For 20 years, ScaleNet ran on the same software platform. That platform is no longer viable. Here, we present a new, open-source implementation of ScaleNet. We have normalized the data model, begun the process of correcting invalid data, upgraded the user interface, and added online administrative tools. These improvements make ScaleNet easier to use and maintain, and make the ScaleNet data more accurate and extendable.