Pest identification: Insects, mites, & other invertebrates

California PCA Exam Helper: Category A

The list includes all the arthropods and mollusks contained in the knowledge expectations for the Category A California PCA licensing exam.

Remember, in addition to knowing these organisms, there are many other knowledge expectations for this exam. Get the complete list of knowledge expectations from DPR.

In order to prepare for this exam you will need to be able to

  • identify the listed arthropods to class, order, and family when given a name, specimen or photo of adult or immature forms. You will not be required to distinguish between species in the same family. For example, you do not need to recognize differences between the pear rust mite and the tomato russet mite, but you do need to be able to distinguish the pear rust mite and the citrus red mite (different families).
  • know Latin names for class, order, and a combination of common and Latin name for family
  • for each class and family, understand their
    • mouthparts and food habits
    • biology and life cycle
    • metamorphosis
    • significance as a pest or natural enemy
    • damage symptoms

Each organism is linked to pages within the UC IPM Web site that contain information and photos to help you identify the organism and understand the basic biological and management information specified in the knowledge expectations. For some organisms, a number of links are available. If they are pests in several crops, we list links to the UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines for crops where the pest is most important. Some pests which are also pests in homes, gardens, and landscapes are linked to Pest Notes.

Phylum/Class Order Family Species Photos, description, and management information
PHYLUM MOLLUSCA
CLASS GASTROPODA: Slugs and snails
  brown garden snail in citrus
in avocado
in artichoke
pest note
  gray garden slug pest note
  decollate snail  
PHYLUM ARTHROPODA
CLASS MALACOSTRACA
  ORDER ISOPODA: Sowbugs and pillbugs in alfalfa
CLASS CHILOPODA: Centipedes pest note
CLASS DIPLOPODA: Millipedes pest note
CLASS SYMPHYLA
  ORDER SYMPHYLA: Symphylans
  garden symphylan in tomato
in strawberry Ξ
in lettuce Ξ
in cole crops Ξ
in asparagus Ξ
CLASS PARAINSECTA
  ORDER COLLEMBOLA: Springtails in lettuce
pest note
CLASS ARACHNIDA
  ORDER ARANEAE: Spiders pest note
  ORDER ACARI: Mites  
  Family Eriophyiidae: Eriophyiid mites  
  pear rust mite in pear
  tomato russet mite in tomato
  citrus bud mite in citrus
  peach silver mite in peach
in nectarine
  Family Phytoseiidae: Phytoseiid predatory mites  
  western predatory mite  
  Phytoseiulus persimilis  
  Family Tetranychidae: Spider mites pest note
  citrus red mite in citrus
  European red mite in deciduous fruit and nut trees
  Pacific spider mite in dry beans
in walnut
in cotton
  twospotted spider mite in plum +
in corn
CLASS INSECTA
  ORDER THYSANURA: Bristletails/silverfish and firebrats pest note
  ORDER ORTHOPTERA: Grasshoppers, katydids, crickets  
  Family Acrididae: Grasshoppers in sugarbeets
in cotton
in grains
in corn
in cucurbits
pest note
  Family Gryllidae: Crickets in lettuce
in cucurbits
in cotton
  Family Tettigoniidae: Katydids in citrus
in nectarine & peach
  ORDER DERMAPTERA: Earwigs in strawberry
in cherry
in apricot
in cucurbits pest note
  ORDER MANTODEA: Mantids  
  Family Mantidae: Mantids  
  ORDER BLATTODEA: Cockroaches  
  Family Blattidae: Oriental and American cockroaches pest note
  ORDER ISOPTERA: Termites pest note
  ORDER HEMIPTERA: True-bugs, aphids, scale insects, leafhoppers, treehoppers, and others  
  Family Aleyrodidae: Whiteflies pest note
  greenhouse whitefly in floriculture & nurseries Ξ
in tomato
in strawberry
  citrus whitefly in citrus
  silverleaf whitefly in floriculture & nurseries
in potato
in cotton
  giant whitefly pest note
  Family Anthocoridae  
  minute pirate bugs  
  Family Aphididae: Aphids pest note
  cabbage aphid in cole crops
  green peach aphid in various crops
  pea aphid in alfalfa
in dry beans
in artichoke
  cotton/melon aphid in various crops
  rosy apple aphid in apple
  potato aphid in various crops
  lettuce root aphid in lettuce
  woolly apple aphid in apple
  spotted alfalfa aphid in alfalfa
  Family Cercopidae: Spittlebugs or froghoppers general information
  Family Cicadellidae: Leafhoppers  
  glassy-winged sharpshooter in grape
pest note
  potato leafhopper in potato
in citrus
in cotton
in dry beans
  beet leafhopper in tomato
in sugarbeet
  western grape leafhopper in grape
  variegated leafhopper in grape
  Family Cicadidae: Cicadas  
  Family Coccidae: Soft scales pest note
  brown soft scale in citrus
in floriculture & nurseries Ξ
in pistachio
in avocado
  black scale in olive
in citrus
in floriculture & nurseries Ξ
in pistachios
pest note
  citricola scale in citrus
  Family Coreidae: Leaffooted bugs pest note
  squash bug in cucurbits Ξ
  Family Diaspididae: Armored scales pest note
  oystershell scale in floriculture & nurseries Ξ
  California red scale in citrus
in olive
in avocado
in floriculture & nurseries Ξ
  San Jose scale in peach & nectarine
in plum & prune
in pear
in almond
other deciduous fruit and nut trees
  walnut scale in walnut
  Family Lygaeidae: Chinch bugs  
  bigeyed bug  
  false chinch bug in pistachio
in grape
in cucurbits Ξ
in cotton
in avocado
pest note
  Family Margarodidae  
  cottony cushion scale pest note
in citrus
  Family Membracidae: Treehoppers general information
  Family Miridae: Plant bugs  
  western tarnished plant bug (lygus bug) in strawberry
in cotton
in apple
in celery
  Family Nabidae: Damsel bugs  
  Family Pentatomidae: Stink bugs  
  consperse stink bug in tomato
in peach & nectarine
in apple & pear
in cotton
  redshouldered stink bug in tomato
in pear
in pistachio
in almond
in peach
in nectarine
in apple
  green stink bug in cucurbits
in peach
in nectarine
in almond
  Family Phylloxeridae: Phylloxera  
  grape phylloxera in grape
  Family Pseudococcidae: Mealybugs  
  grape mealybug in grape +
in pear
  citrus mealybug in citrus
  obscure mealybug in grape
in pear
  vine mealybug # in grape
  Family Psyllidae: Jumping plantlice (psyllids) pest note
  Asian citrus psyllid # in citrus
pest note
  pear psylla in pear
  potato psyllid in potato
  blue gum psyllid  
  Family Reduviidae: Assassin bugs  
  Family Tingidae: Lace bugs pest note
  ORDER THYSANOPTERA: Thrips pest note
  Family Thripidae: Common thrips  
  citrus thrips in citrus
  western flower thrips in nectarine
in strawberry
in olive
  greenhouse thrips in citrus
in avocado
in floriculture & nurseries Ξ
  sixspotted thrips  
  ORDER NEUROPTERA: Lacewings  
  Family Chrysopidae: Green lacewings  
  Family Hemerobiidae: Brown lacewings  
  ORDER COLEOPTERA: Beetles and weevils  
  Family Buprestidae: Metallic wood borers  
  Pacific flatheaded borer in walnut
in plum & prune
in peach & nectarine
this information applies to other fruit tree crops
  Family Cerambycidae: Longhorned beetles  
  eucalyptus longhorned borer pest note
  Family Chrysomelidae: Leaf beetles  
  elm leaf beetle pest note
  asparagus beetle in asparagus
  western spotted cucumber beetles in cucurbits
in corn
in dry beans
  tobacco flea beetle in tomato
in cucurbits
in eggplant Ξ
  Family Coccinellidae: Lady beetles  
  twicestabbed lady beetle  
  mealybug destroyer  
  convergent lady beetle  
  vedalia beetle  
  Family Curculionidae: Weevils and snout beetles  
  Diaprepes root weevil # in citrus
  Egyptian alfalfa weevil in alfalfa
  rice water weevil in rice
  Family Elateridae: Click beetles (wireworms) in cole crops Ξ
in corn
in cotton Ξ
in grape
in potato
in spinach
  Family Scarabaeidae: Scarab beetles (May or June beetles)  
  white grubs (masked chafters) in turfgrass
  Japanese beetle # exotic pest
  Family Scolytidae: Bark beetles pest note
  western pine beetle pest note
  fir engravers pest note
  elm bark beetle pest note
  shothole borer in plum & prune
in apricot
in cherry
pest note
  Family Tenebrionidae: Darkling beetles in dry beans
in lettuce
  confused flour beetle pest note
  ORDER HYMENOPTERA: Bees, wasps, ants, sawflies, parasitoids  
  Family Andrenidae: miner bees - pollinators  
  Family Aphelinidae: parasitoid wasps  
  Aphytis melinus  
  Encarsia formosa  
  Encarsia inaron  
 

Family Aphidiidae: parasitoid wasps

  Trioxys pallidus  
 

Family Apidae: Honey bees, bumble bees, squash bees, sunflower bees, digger bees, carpenter bees - pollinators

pest note
 

Family Braconidae: Braconid wasps

 
  Family Colletidae: Polyester bees - pollinators  
  Family Formicidae: Ants pest note
  Argentine ant in citrus
  red imported fire ant # in almond
in citrus
in turfgrass
pest note
  southern fire ant in almond
in citrus
  carpenter ants pest note
  Family Halictidae: Sweat bees and alkali bee - pollinators  
  Family Ichneumonidae: Ichneumon wasps  
  Hyposoter spp.  
  Family Megachilidae: Mason bees, leaf-cutter bees - pollinators  
  Family Tenthredinidae: Sawflies  
  California pear sawfly in pear
  Family Trichogrammatidae: Trichogrammatid wasps  
  Family Vespidae: Paper wasps and yellowjackets pest note
  ORDER DIPTERA: Flies, mosquitoes, gnats, midges  
  Family Agromyzidae: Leafminers  
  serpentine leafminer (Liriomyzasp.) in cucurbits Ξ
in celery
in floriculture & nurseries Ξ
in lettuce
  Family Anthomyiidae: Root maggot flies  
  cabbage maggot in cole crops
  seedcorn maggot in corn
in colecrops
in dry beans
in cucurbits
  Family Cecidomyiidae: Gall midges/Predaceous midges  
  Aphidoletes  
  Family Culicidae: Mosquitoes pest note
  Family Muscidae: House fly pest note
  Family Syrphidae: Syrphid or flower flies  
  Family Tachinidae: Tachinid flies  
  Family Tephritidae: Fruit flies  
  apple maggot in apple §
  walnut husk fly pest note
in walnut
  Mediterranean fruit fly # exotic pest
  olive fruit fly in olive
pest note
  ORDER LEPIDOPTERA: Butterflies and moths  
  Family Gelechiidae: Gelechiid moths  
  peach twig borer in peach
(this information applies to most other stone fruits and nuts)
  tomato pinworm in tomato
  pink bollworm in cotton
  potato tuberworm in potato
in tomato
  Family Gracillariidae  
  citrus leafminer in citrus
pest note
  citrus peelminer in citrus
  Family Lymantridae: Tussock moths  
  gypsy moth # exotic pest
  western tussock moth in prune & plum
in citrus
in pistachio
in apricot
  Family Noctuidae: Noctuid moths (cutworms)  
  cabbage looper in cole crops
in floriculture & nurseries Ξ
in strawberry
in cucurbits
  cutworms in tomato
in plum
in sugarbeet
in strawberry
  tobacco budworm in cotton
in lettuce
  alfalfa looper in dry beans
in tomato
in lettuce
in cotton
in artichoke
  corn earworm/tomato fruitworm/cotton bollworm in corn
in tomato
in cotton
in strawberry
  beet armyworm in sugarbeet
in alfalfa
in cole crops
in corn
  western yellowstriped armyworm in alfalfa
in corn
in peppers
in cotton
  Family Pieridae: Sulfur butterflies  
  alfalfa caterpillar in alfalfa
  imported cabbageworm in cole crops
  Family Pyralidae: Snout moths  
  navel orangeworm in walnut
in almond §
in pistachio
in fig
  Family Sesiidae: Clearwing moths pest note
  peachtree borer in peach & nectarine
in apricot
  ash borer pest note
  Family Sphingidae: Sphinx moths  
  tobacco/tomato hornworm in tomato +
  Family Tortricidae: Tortricid moths (leafrollers) pest note
  codling moth pest note
in apple & pear
in walnut
in plum & prune
  oriental fruit moth in peach & nectarine
in almond
  fruittree leafroller pest note
in almond +
in citrus
  omnivorous leafroller in peach & nectarine §
in grape §
in peppers
in pear
  spruce budworm  
  orange tortrix in plum & prune
in grape §
in apricot
in citrus §

# Quarantine or invasive species. For current information about California's invasive species, go to the California Department of Food and Agriculture Invasive Pests and Diseases Web site.

§ Examples of insect feeding damage that provides access for pathogens to enter.

Indicates insects where phenology (degree-day) models are useful in management programs.

+ Examples of the different ways arthropods overwinter.

Examples of dust affecting arthropod growth and development.

Ξ Arthropod examples where the mechanical/physical control techniques flooding, row covers, or greenhouse vent screening are used.

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