The correct identification of insect pests and their natural enemies is critical for developing sound and sustainable pest management strategies: this is particularly so for rice. In the 1960’s, a comprehensive rice insect pest and natural enemy collection was established at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, with the aim of helping those in national rice research programs to identify rice arthropods. 

A similar project was begun in West Africa in 1990, establishing a rice insect and natural enemy collection at WARDA (West African Rice Development Association), which subsequently became AfricaRice.

Associated with both of these collections, dichotomous keys were developed and published in the following books on rice arthropods:

  • Biology and Management of Rice Insects, edited by E. A. Heinrichs (1994) and published by IRRI, and
  • Rice Feeding Insects and Selected Natural Enemies in West Africa, authored by E. A. Heinrichs and Alberto Barrion (2002).

Since the printed versions of both books have been out-of-print for several years, a recent upgrade of the Lucid software program has made it possible to convert these paper-based, dichotomous keys to interactive pathway keys, making both keys now freely available to access via the Internet, courtesy of IAPPS. 

Following the initial conversion of the West African arthropod keys, these English language pathway keys have now been converted to French language versions by Dr Souleymane Nacro (IAPPS West/Central Africa Region Board member). Google Translate was initially used to convert the key data, and related online text, to French, and then checked and edited by Dr Nacro, using technical terms where appropriate. This French language version of the West African pathway keys can be accessed below.   

Note: Since the IRRI key now includes a large number of images of important insect pests and natural enemies. E.A. Heinrichs ([email protected]) would appreciate any good resolution images that colleagues would be willing to submit for adding to the key – with due acknowledgement.