Insect diagnostic service
The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Entomology Unit provides an insect identification and advisory service.
Our qualified team identify insects to the highest taxonomic level for species where this is possible.
We can also give you biological information and guidelines for control.
SARDI has a collection of approximately 5,000 species of pests and beneficial insects.
This collection helps us provide rapid and reliable identification of most insects.
- Insect identification.
- Insect identification + biological and management information.
Our diagnostic services are available to the public.
All prices are available on application.
Please do not send payment with your sample, unless indicated otherwise.
We will send an invoice with the result to you.
Preparing your sample
Soft-bodied insects (larvae)
Place dead larvae samples in 80% alcohol or methylated spirits.
Make sure live larvae have adequate supply of host plant material or soil.
- Adult insects (beetles, wasps, moths etc.) can be killed before posting by placing them in a freezer for a few hours.
- Pack the specimens into a container and use tissues to prevent damage.
Packaging your sample
Selecting a container
Put liquid samples in a container that:
- can't be easily crushed
- has a good sealing lid.
Small plastic vials are ideal.
- Don't place dried specimens directly into an envelope.
- Always pack them in a container.
Preparing your sample for delivery
You can place the container into 'Post Pack' or other suitable envelope with packing included.
Ensure you have our correct postal or delivery address.
Sending your sample
All specimens sent to us for identification must be accompanied by the Insect Diagnostic Service Specimen Form ().
Please complete the form as accurately and completely as possible.
Incorrect or incomplete information will slow down the process.
Information you must include on your form:
- Client details.
- Sample details:
- date collected
- plant or animal host if known
- location and a brief description of the damage caused.
- Information about pattern or extent of infestation.
- Investigation requested. Indicate whether you require identification only or identification plus additional biological and / or control information.
- Any special requirements.
Posting your sample
Insect Diagnostic Service
c/o Entomology Unit
Box 397 GPO
Delivering your sample
Insect Diagnostic Service
1st Floor, East Wing
Getting your results
We can provide identification reports by phone or email.
We will usually send results within 3 working days of receiving your sample.
We make every effort to identify to species level. When this is not possible, we will forward the specimen to a taxonomic specialist. In these cases, additional costs will be invoiced to you.
Once you receive your interim report, you have 48 hours to tell us whether you need further identification.
If you have questions about our services, or are unsure about how to prepare or send your sample, please contact us.
Phone: (08) 8429 0933 or (08) 8429 0557