POSTED: 10:24 a.m. HST, Jan 9, 2014
Federal custom officials intercepted a shipment of tile from Italy containing hitchhiking Egyptian locust and returned it.
The find by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists stationed at the Honolulu Harbor occurred Dec. 26.
The Egyptian locust or grasshopper was found in a shipping container, which was sealed until the insect could be identified.
The insect was identified as Anacridium aegyptium (Linnaeus), belonging to the family Acrididae, federal customs officials said in a news release.
Adults grow to over 2 inches long, and have distinctive vertically striped eyes. This species has been found in cargo on numerous occasions in North American ports of entry. The discovery was the first time this insect was intercepted here and the locust is not known to be present in Hawaii.
Hilda Montoya, assistant port director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Honolulu, said: "This is an example of the type of work our agriculture specialists do in cargo protecting domestic agriculture industry from pests and diseases. This is one of the top priorities in our mission to protect the homeland and our economic security."