ID Tools

USDA APHIS ITP

All tools listed on this page were created and/or funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Identification Technology Program (ITP). Use the sorting menus below to find the tool you need. If you have problems accessing any of the tools listed here, please email itp@usda.gov

 

Pest-based tools
Commodity-based tools
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Scale Insects, Edition 2

This tool is designed to help the user identify almost any scale insect to family, and in some cases to species, without the need for expertise in the group. The tool emphasizes scale taxa important to the U.S. ports of entry. It includes keys for scale families, mealybugs and mealybug-like scales, soft scales, and one for scales in other families save armored scales. This is an update to the 2007 resource that included four separate scale tools.

Hispines of the World

Hispines comprise half of the subfamily Cassidinae (sensu lato) in the family Chrysomelidae within the order Coleoptera. It currently consists of 6000 species placed in 42 tribes. The combination of the Hispinae with the Cassidinae (sensu stricto) (Staines 2002b) is historically recent. This tool uses “hispines” in the traditional sense of the genera and species in the former subfamily Hispinae to enable quick recognition.

LepIntercept

Lepidoptera is one of the largest and most economically important orders of plant eating insects. Thousands of Lepidoptera are considered pests, and each year large numbers of these species are intercepted at U.S. ports of entry as larvae. LepIntercept is a comprehensive resource for identifying intercepted Lepidoptera larvae.

Longicorn ID

Longicorn ID is intended to aid in the identification of cerambycoid or longhorned beetles to family, subfamily, or tribe. The website was updated in February 2014 to include a key for the Cerambycidae subfamily Lamiinae.

Lucid Mobile Apps

A number of ITP's Lucid keys have been converted to mobile apps, allowing use of the keys in the field on Android phones and iPhones.

 

 

Microlepidoptera on Solanaceae

This web site is designed to improve the ability of plant inspectors and diagnosticians to identify larval and adult Microlepidoptera that feed on plants in the family Solanaceae.

Flat Mites of the World, Edition 2

This tool is designed to help identify any flat mite to the taxonomic level of genus, and in some cases to species, without the need for expertise in the group.

Diabrotica ID

Diabrotica ID is designed to allow identification of Diabrotica species that originate from North and Central America to users lacking expertise in taxonomy of Diabrotica. Many Diabrotica species feed on flowers, leaves and roots of a wide variety of herbaceous plants, including agricultural crops, vegetables, fruits and ornamentals and are vectors of viral and other lethal plant diseases.

Antkey

Antkey is designed for non-specialists, and includes over 115 ant species that are introduced, invasive, or commonly intercepted in the United States. Features include an interactive Lucid key, dynamically generated species pages, a searchable media collection of over 1,150 images, over 70 live video clips of introduced ants, a fully illustrated glossary with over 400 terms, a searchable database of introduced ant literature, and over 12,000 specimen records of introduced ants imported from Antweb.

Anastrepha and Toxotrypana

This system attempts to bring together in a single package all of the relevant taxonomic information for these important genera, as well as images for each species, and provides a choice of two electronic keys (Intkey or Lucid).

Citrus Pests

Citrus Pests offers screening support for over 50 important insect pests of citrus. The digital tool is aimed primarily at extension agents, inspectors, and other plant professionals with access to a light microscope and hand lens.

AphID

AphID includes a key to the 66 most polyphagous and cosmopolitan aphid species. AphID also offers users detailed descriptions of morphological features critical to identifying aphids along with annotated photographs to help illustrate each feature.

TortAI: Tortricids of Agricultural Importance

Here you will find comprehensive resources for identifying adults and larvae of tortricids that threaten agriculture in the United States. Pest species as well as common non-target species are covered in detailed fact sheets and interactive identification keys. In addition, a DNA barcode database allows for the confirm of identifications using COI barcode data.

Table Grape Weed Disseminule ID

This tool aids in the identification of potentially occurring weed disseminules in fresh table grape bunches that are grown in California's Central Valley and destined for export abroad. Disseminules are reproductive dispersal units that can be in the form of seeds, fruits and more complex modified structures. You will need a username and password to access this tool.

Table Grape Spider ID

This tool was created to help prevent the potential spread of spiders via exportation of fresh table grape bunches from California's Central Valley growing areas to our trading partners in Australia and New Zealand. Table Grape Spider ID (TGSId) was designed to assist inspectors in identifying spiders and spider egg sacs found in table grape shipments from the Central Valley of California bound for Australia and New Zealand. You will need a username and password to access this tool.

Ironclad ID

Ironclad ID is designed to aid in the identification of adult Ironclad and Cylindrical Bark Beetles, a large, worldwide group of diverse, subcortical beetles in the family Zopheridae. This group is thought to include both harmful and beneficial species.

Citrus Resource

Citrus Resource, a commodity-based identification resource, was created to provide growers, the industry, and those associated with citrus pest and disease detection an easily accessible site to assist with their identification needs.

Table Grape Resource

A Resource for California Central Valley Table Grapes is a portal to various electronic identification tools to support the screening of pests, diseases, and weeds that might be associated with harvested table grapes from California's Central Valley. You will need a username and password to access these tools.

Citrus Diseases

Citrus Diseases was designed to provide screening support for individuals responsible for inspecting citrus imports and federal, state and local personnel responsible for survey and detection of citrus diseases. The tool provides support for symptom-based identification of citrus diseases that are already known in the United States, as well as those of immediate concern.

Citrus ID, Edition 2

Citrus ID is designed to support the identification of host material during citrus pest and disease surveys by industry and government personnel. This tool facilitates identification to at least the cultivar group level within citrus (e.g., sweet oranges, sour oranges, etc.), if not beyond for select cultivars.

Terrestrial Mollusc Tool

Terrestrial Mollusc Tool was specifically designed to assist in the identification of adult terrestrial slugs and snails of agricultural importance. The tool also includes species of quarantine significance as well as invasive and contaminant mollusc species commonly intercepted at U.S. ports of entry.

Dried Botanical ID

Because these botanical materials are often not only sectioned but also bleached and/or dyed and then scented with fragrance oils, a botanical key to the whole plant, or even plant parts, is not practical. Thus, in this unique identification tool, features such as shape, size, and texture are used.

Pink Bollworm and its Look-alikes

This identification tool was created to allow users to identify the larvae and adults of the pink bollworm and distinguish them from similar species. The tool is designed for users participating in survey and monitoring programs for pink bollworm in the cotton belt of the United States.

Oncid ID

Oncid ID is designed to aid in the identification of adult "twig girdlers," a large group of longhorned beetles in the tribe Onciderini which are widely distributed in the Nearctic and Neotropical regions, from the USA to Argentina.

Common Nymphal Grasshoppers of the Western U.S.

Common Nymphal Grasshoppers offers a key that treats each instar as a separate entity and is fully illustrated to support the identification of each nymphal instar. The tool also features detailed fact sheets, with information on the ecology and natural history of each species.

Wood Boring Beetle Resource

A Resource for Wood Boring Beetles of the World lists identification and screening tools for wood boring beetles of the world. The site focuses on the nine families considered wood boring beetles: those taxa that are known to bore into and develop within sound wood. You can search by family, geographic coverage, or release date.

Identifying Commonly Cultivated Palms

Identifying Commonly Cultivated Palms supports users that may only have a portion of a complete representative sample of a plant. This tool allows users to identify many specimens to species, though this is not possible in all cases, as many palms are capable of hybridizing.

Bark Beetle Genera of the U.S.

This tool is designed to help identify bark beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) to the taxonomic level of genus without the need for expertise in the group. Targeted users include APHIS’ pest survey specialists, ports of entry inspectors, other inspection personnel, students, and scientists.

Xyleborini Ambrosia Beetles

Xyleborini is the most important and species-rich tribe of ambrosia beetles. This group contains more invasive pests than all other ambrosia beetle groups combined. This tool provides identification support for all 36 Xyleborini genera from around the world.

Palm Resource

The palm resource is a screening aid designed to support individuals involved with commodity-based surveys. It includes identification tools for cultivated palms and their pests, diseases, and disorders known to occur in the continental U.S., Hawaii, and the Caribbean Islands as of 2010, as well as those of immediate concern to these areas.

Symptoms of Palm Diseases and Disorders

This tool is based solely on visual symptoms for two primary reasons. First, visual symptoms are sufficient to diagnose many palm problems, especially physiological disorders such as nutrient deficiencies. Second, visual symptoms are the first step in determining which diagnostic lab to use for further analysis and which tissue should be sampled for analysis.

Screening Aid to Palm Pests

Screening Aid to Pests (SAP), part of the commodity-based A Resource for Pests and Diseases of Cultivated Palms, is aimed primarily at the novice entomologist. It is designed to help users determine which type of arthropod palm pest they have found and features illustrated fact sheets with descriptions of each pest as well as two interactive keys.

Federal Noxious Weed Disseminules, Edition 2

This interactive tool provides photographs, text and keys that aid in determining whether or not an unknown disseminule (e.g., seed, fruit) found as a contaminant in imported botanicals and agricultural products is a Federal Noxious Weed (FNW) and is therefore actionable.

Bark Beetles of the Southeastern U.S.

This tool allows the user to separate genera of Curculionidae bark beetle subfamily Scolytinae, of the southeastern United States, that are classified into the two tribes Hylesinini and Scolytini.

LBAM ID

LBAM ID is designed to aid in the identification of adult or larval Lepidoptera encountered during light brown apple moth (LBAM) surveys in California. This tool includes interactive identification keys, images, diagrams, fact sheets, and a DNA sequence database.

PIAkey - Invasive Ants of the Pacific Islands

PIAkey (Pacific Invasive Ant key) is an electronic guide designed to assist users to identify invasive ant species commonly encountered in the Pacific Island region. The guide covers four subfamilies, 20 genera and 44 species.

Wood Boring Beetle Families

Many beetle families are known to be associated with wood in varying stages of decay, while others may live in subcortical habitats.  However, this tool is designed solely to aid in the identification of those beetles that are known to bore into and develop within sound wood.

Grasshoppers of the Western U.S., Edition 3

This tool has been designed for people with varying degrees of knowledge identifying rangeland grasshoppers, from the general enthusiast to the research scientist.

Aquarium and Pond Plants of the World, Ed. 2

This tool provides a comprehensive, fully illustrated means of identification for all aquatic plants currently offered for sale through the aquarium and pond plant industries worldwide and an interactive, matrix-based key enables rapid identification of over 140 genera of aquatic plants. Also included are image galleries and fact sheets for each genus.

Invasive Mites Identification Resource

These keys are designed to provide support to quarantine workers at three levels: training in mite anatomy and identification, preliminary identification (sorting non-actionable from potentially actionable mites), and advanced taxonomic support. The keys range in complexity from "Is it a mite?", at a very basic introductory level, to species level treatments (e.g., Stratiolaelaps).

Cut Flower Exports of Africa

Cut Flower Exports of Africa is a tool to aid in the identification of genera of cut flowers produced in Africa and exported to major world markets. This tool includes an interactive identification key, flower images, and fact sheets. The interactive identification key runs as a Lucid3 Java applet.