Citrus is one of the most important commercially grown agricultural products in the United States. Additionally, many citrus varieties are backyard crop plants, providing important sources of food at a local community level. As a result, citrus is one of the most economically important groups of plants. Numerous insect pests threaten the citrus industry and backyard citrus trees through feeding damage, while other pests vector diseases that are potentially lethal.
Citrus Pests Key is aimed primarily at extension agents, inspectors, and other plant professionals with access to a light microscope and hand lens. It is designed to help users determine which type of citrus insect pest they have encountered by featuring an interactive key coupled with illustrated, descriptive fact sheets for each pest. Citrus Pests Key is intended to be used as a screening aid. For definitive species identification, specimens should be sent to an expert for verification.
During the initial development of the key, an advisory committee developed a comprehensive list of over 300 pest and beneficial arthropods that needed to be considered for inclusion into the key. Since the key was designed and scoped as a basic screening aid to support survey and detection support, 51 total species from the comprehensive list were selected by the authors based on the following criteria:
- commonly found insect pests on cultivated citrus in the U.S. as determined by the Citrus Pest Advisory Committee,
- citrus insect pests that have been intercepted at U.S. ports but have not become established,
- insect pests that have entered the U.S. but have now been eradicated, and
- exotic insect pests of immediate concern to U.S. cultivated citrus.
Key authors: Sarahlynne Guerrero, Jennifer Weeks, Amanda Hodges, Kirk Martin, and Norman Leppla
This key is part of a complete Citrus Pests tool: http://idtools.org/id/citrus/pests/
Lucid Mobile key developed by USDA APHIS ITP