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Identification

Fish identification

Provides information and resources to help you identify unknown species that may be invasive. Species identification is important in helping gardeners, land managers, and landscape architects identify invasive species that can be harmful to local habitats.

An important caveat is it can be difficult to identify species properly on the Internet. If you are unable to identify the species in question, you may want to contact your county office in the Cooperative Extension System (see Land Grant University Website Directory - Extension) and work with Extension personnel to obtain assistance from an area agent or state specialist (select state to see state pest detection contacts).

Or, you may want to use the Ask an Expert feature of eXtension - Invasive Species.


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Spotlights

  • USDA. Blog.

    ID Tools helps agency staff to quickly identify pests, including insects, diseases, harmful weeds, and more, through an efficient, online database system. ID Tools currently includes more than 30 websites covering a vast array of pests and pests associated with specific commodities.

  • University of Florida. IFAS Extension. Solutions for Your Life.

    Many Florida residents find unknown plants growing in their yard, unknown bugs in their houses or gardens, and apparent diseases on what were previously healthy plants. But Florida residents may not know what resources are available to identify these disease, plant, and pest organisms.

  • California Academy of Sciences; National Geographic Society.

    iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! By recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. Experience and record nature with species identification technology by downloading the iNaturalist app (Android and iPhone) --  See Getting started:

    • Find Wildlife - it can be any plant, animal, fungi, slime mold or evidence of life found in the wild
    • Take Pictures - be sure to notice the location
    • Share Observations - upload your findings to iNaturalist

    Seek by iNaturalist is an educational tool and provides a kid-friendly alternative. Seek allows you to identify plants and animals from your photos by harnessing image recognition technology, drawing from existing data collected from observations on iNaturalist (no registration is required, and no user data is collected).

  • Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

    This database was designed to direct users to invasive species experts. The public portion of the database will guide you to a state contact who acts as a filter for information and identifications.

Selected Resources

The section below contains selected highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. To view all related content for this subject, click on "View all resources for subject" in the top left of this page.

Partnership

Nature Conservancy. iMapInvasives.

Includes a variety of published guides and internet resources (videos) for use in identifying invasive species that are found in the participating states, provinces, and regions of the iMapInvasives network. The iMapInvasives network is currently comprised of ten U.S. states and one Canadian province    (Arizona, Florida, Maine, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Saskatchewan, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia).

USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.

Native to Asia, the spotted lanternfly has quickly spread since its initial detection in 2014. The insect is not a strong flier, yet its U.S. range is expanding, mostly due to the movement of vehicles, outdoor furniture, or other objects to which females glue their inconspicuous egg masses. Includes ID aids to help identify the spotted lanternfly in all its life stages, from egg mass through adult.

National Plant Diagnostic Network.

NPDN is a national network of diagnostic laboratories that rapidly and accurately detect and report pathogens that cause plant diseases of national interest, particularly those that could be deemed to be a biosecurity risk. The specific purpose of the NPDN is to provide a cohesive, distributed system to quickly detect and identify pests and pathogens of concern.

Discover Life.
Provides free on-line tools to identify species, teach and study nature's wonders, report findings, build maps, process images, and contribute to and learn from a growing, interactive encyclopedia of life with 851,136 species pages and 681,390 maps. See also: IDnature Guides

Michigan State University. Midwest Invasive Species Information Network.

The invasive species education modules will help you become more comfortable with identifying these species in the field. Includes detailed information for terrestrial plants, aquatic plants, crustaceans, fish, insects, mollusks, and pathogens. Each module includes a short ten question quiz at the end to help you assess your newly acquired knowledge.

Whatisthisbug.org (California).

"What is This Bug" was developed from Farm Bill monies after the need for increased citizen help was recognized in the nationwide fight against invasive species. How can you help? Report a suspected pest. Now, with smartphones and the internet, new, easier and faster ways are available for reporting a suspicious pest, such as the Report a Pest Online Form and the Report a Pest Mobile App.

Federal Government

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
APHIS created the webpage to make it easier for its customers to find critical information on pests and diseases of concern. With this tool, members of the public will have the information they need to report pests and diseases and together we can protect America’s agriculture and natural resources. This page lists all pest and disease programs managed by APHIS as part of its mission to protect American agriculture and natural resources. Users can search by type (plant, animal), keyword (avian, fruit fly, cotton), or by the specific pest or disease (coconut rhinoceros beetle, brucellosis). You can also scroll through the page, which lists the pests and diseases alphabetically and includes a corresponding image.  

Academic

University of California. Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.
The UC IPM Weed Photo Gallery includes many, but not all, weed species commonly found in California farms and landscapes.