Good News from the USDA

USDA-regulated organisms, such as giant cave roaches (Blaberus giganteus), orchid mantids (Hymenopus coronatus), and white-spotted assassin bugs (Platymeris biguttatus), are common in the US invertebrate hobby, yet many hobbyists do not have the proper permits to purchase these animals. The USDA rarely enforces the regulations, so these people keep their pets, breed them, and sell them to others. I strive to follow USDA regulations and obtain the proper permits for my regulated organisms. I currently have the permits to own 12 species of cockroaches, 3 species of exotic millipedes, 2 species of isopods, and the two most common species of hornworms in the genus Manduca. Since I have permits, the USDA sent me a notification about some upcoming reforms in the permitting system. One of the changes will be that a few hundred species of insects will no longer require permits in the continental US. The list is full of fairly common insects that are more common in a laboratory than in the pet trade, but there is a section that lists around 30 species of non-native cockroaches. Entomologists have been waiting for this list for over a decade.

The PDF file above is a draft of the list. The list includes species besides insects that are going to be deregulated, such as some fungi and plant diseases.

The changes will go into effect August 9, and up until that date, the species on the list still require permits. There may be some differences between the PDF and the official version when it is published, but the species should not change too much.

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