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Insect Identification – Online Resources

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Caveat: In certain situations, using only a photograph to identify an insect, especially to species, can actually be impossible. Many insects require that an adult individual (for example) be observed with magnification (a microscope) and diagnostically significant morphological features must be observed and compared with a dichotomous key. Unless photographs of the tiny, diagnostically significant features are submitted, identification to species may not be possible under those circumstances. Even still, some specimens must be tested using DNA analysis techniques for proper identification. The following is not an all-inclusive list of resources.

Have a pest insect on an ornamental tree or shrub that you cannot identify? Consider sending it to the UMass Plant Diagnostics Laboratory for identification: https://ag.umass.edu/services/plant-diagnostics-laboratory/tree-shrub-diagnostics

Online Insect ID Tools:

*Caution: On occasion, misidentifications are possible.

Aphids on the World’s Plants: http://www.aphidsonworldsplants.info/

Bark and Wood Boring Beetles of the World: https://www.barkbeetles.org/index.cfm

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • University of Georgia, Bugwood Network
    • USDA Forest Service – Forest Health Protection
    • USDA APHIS PPQ
    • Georgia Forestry Commission
    • Texas Forest Service
    • The Pest and Diseases Image Library – Australia

Bark Beetle Genera of the United States: http://idtools.org/id/wbb/bbgus/

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • USDA
    • Colorado State University

Bugguide: http://bugguide.net

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • Iowa State University

Bugwood: https://images.bugwood.org/

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • The University of Georgia
    • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
    • Georgia Museum of Natural History
    • The Entomological Society of America
    • USDA Identification Technology Program

Butterflies and Moths of North America: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • U.S. Geological Survey
    • National Biological Information Infrastructure Program
    • USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Discover Life, IDnature guides: Insects: http://www.discoverlife.org/

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • The National Science Foundation
    • University of Georgia, Athens
    • University of New South Wales
    • Missouri Botanical Garden
    • US Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division
    • Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Hymenoptera Online: http://hol.osu.edu/

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • The Ohio State University

Insect Identification Key: http://www.knowyourinsects.org/index.html

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • Eastern Michigan University students

Insect Images and Identification: http://ento.psu.edu/public/insect-images

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • Penn State Department of Entomology

Insects by Order Classification and their Relatives: https://www.insectimages.org/

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • The University of Georgia
    • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
    • Georgia Museum of Natural History
    • The Entomological Society of America
    • USDA Identification Technology Program

Insects Sorted by Damage Type: https://www.ipmimages.org/

  • Developed/Supported by:
    • The University of Georgia
    • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
    • USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
    • Southern Integrated Pest Management Center
    • Southern Plant Diagnostic Network
    • USDA Identification Technology Program
Author: 
Tawny Simisky
Last Updated: 
May 9, 2017
Topics: 
Commercial Horticulture
Commercial Horticulture topics: 
Insects and Mites