Submitted to: Systematic Entomology Laboratory World Wide Web Site
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: February 23, 2006
Publication Date: February 23, 2006
Citation: Miller, G.L., Kane, E.C., Carlson, R.W. 2006. Ressurecting Asa Fitch's Aphid Notes: Historical Entomology for Application Today. Systematic Entomology Laboratory World Wide Web Site. http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=12851.
Interpretive Summary: Millions of dollars of agricultural losses are attributed directly and indirectly to aphids every year. Damage is not only related to their direct mechanical feeding and subsequent transmission of numerous plant diseases but it is also tied to the enormous costs for pesticide application for aphid control, the development of resistant crops, and changes in farming practices. Most destructive species of aphids in North America are introduced from other countries and the date of introduction is often difficult to determine. This web page provides searchable access to some of the first aphid research done in North America by Dr. Asa Fitch in the 19th Century. Fitch’s notes can be searched to view the first detailed scientific observations of aphids in the U.S. and records of many of North America’s early invasive aphids. Fitch’s notes supply a baseline for rate of aphid introduction but also include valuable information on aphid morphology and biology. This information will be useful to systematists, biological control workers, and historians.
Dr. Asa Fitch’s complete aphid notes have been data based and are now searchable on the world wide web. Recorded in the mid-19th century, Fitch’s notes provide some of the earliest scientific observations on 19 genera and over 100 species of North American aphids. His notes were the basis for his species descriptions but they also provide a baseline for the establishment of the many introduced species of aphid pests on this continent. This web page will not only provide easy access to nearly 800 pages where systematists can view original work in order better understand his species concept but included therein are details on aphid predators, host plant associations, rates of increase, and control measures. This information will be useful to systematists, biological control workers, and historians alike.