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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #429988

Research Project: Systematics of Hemiptera and Related Groups: Plant Pests, Predators and Disease Vectors

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

2017 Annual Report

ARS is interested in performing research to increase and enhance the understanding of the systematics of aphids, leafhoppers, plant bugs, thrips, and termites important to agriculture, ornamentals, and the environment. Our Project Plan has four main objectives: Objective 1: Determine species boundaries; recognize, describe, and illustrate new and adventive species; develop identification keys; define relationships among the respective groups; and investigate host use and specificity of leafhoppers, true bugs, aphids, scale insects, and related groups that are pests of, or beneficial, to U.S. agriculture. Objective 2: Develop accurate species concepts for aphids using a holistic approach based on morphological and molecular data. Objective 3: Compile, organize, and post on web electronic databases and images of primary types of important aphids, leafhoppers, termites, thrips, and true bugs. Objective 4: Provide expert identifications of specimens submitted by stakeholders worldwide and manage assigned portions of the U.S. National Insect Collection.

ARS will undertake the taxonomic research on agriculturally and economically important aphids, leafhoppers, plant bugs, termites, and thrips, using both morphological and molecular data to create species concepts and develop hypotheses about relationships. This information will be used to develop comprehensive revisions, including generic and species diagnoses and descriptions, illustrations of adults and diagnostic characters using light and electron microscopy, and dichotomous identification keys that will facilitate accurate identification. This information will be made available through publications, including hard-copy books, online pdf files, websites, and other media. Timely, accurate identifications of aphids, bugs, leafhoppers, termites, and thrips submitted by APHIS/PPQ, other state and Federal agencies, and a wide range of researchers will be provided. Large portions of the United States National Collection of Insects will be maintained and expanded.

Progress Report
100+ specimens of Rhopalosiphum aphids have had DNA extracted and 79 have been successfully amplified. DNA sequences have been compared with other Rhopalosiphum sequences to help determine species. This initial work has resulted in determining that two species considered separate are actually the same species. This will reduce confusion as to the correct species identity. Captured label data for approximately 25% of the 90 species of the North American Ceratocapsini. The sorting and identification of the species in this monograph, however, necessitated a slight change in the sequence of other accomplishments. The measurements (14 structures for 5 males and 5 females) for all 90 species, representing 12,600 measurements, were completed ahead of the previously scheduled target date in 2018. 300 mirid types, including a dorsal and lateral habitus and the type labels of each, were captured. Due to a lack of technical support, unable to capture the full number. An additional 200 or more images will be captured over the summer of 2017. Substantial progress has been made in reconstructing a phylogeny for 105 described species and 22 additional undescribed taxa of aspidiotine armored scale insects. The manuscript describing this work is in an advanced stage of preparation. The phylogeny shows that the majority of aspidiotine genera are nonmonophyletic and in need of revision in order to reflect natural groups. Captured 2,537 images of 590 type specimens of Auchenorrhyncha. Made 809 idemtifications of 1,630 specimens, including 447 urgent identifications of Hemiptera as of 8 June 2017.

1. Protecting U.S. ornamental plants. Colorful, flowering heliconius plants are attacked by plant bugs that cause floral chlorosis, reducing the marketability of these tropical ornamentals. This group of plant bugs has many species that are difficult to identify. Some go by multiple names and some have no name at all. Pest names serve as an anchor for all other information on them and hence the actions we decide to make. Without accurate identification in a one-name-for-one species classification, it is therefore difficult to find information on pest biology, distribution, or what measures we can take to control them. The ARS Systematic Entomology Laboratory has revised this plant bug group, described four new species, and provided an identification key and illustrations on this plant bug pest group. This project helps horticulturists, quarantine efforts and risk assessments by APHIS, and consequently benefits the US ornamental plant industry.

2. Guarding U.S. crops from phylloxeran pests. Phylloxerans are minuscule insects of major agricultural pest importance — including the famous grape phylloxera which devastated the wine industry. Their placement within insect classification and their assigned scientific names are, however, often confused. Because the establishment of a correct name represents the cornerstone for all subsequent biological research, international collaborative efforts resulted in a major publication of the world phylloxera species. This work identified over 90 species names and helped to stabilize their correct scientific name. The checklist will serve as a major reference for all researchers world-wide by confirming and clarifying species placement and their names. This publication will be of wide interest to world researchers in insect systematics, biological control, and quarantine and regulatory agencies where correct names are paramount for decision making or research.

Review Publications
Skvarla, M.J., Halbert, S.E., Foottit, R.G., Jensen, A.S., Maw, E., Miller, G.L. 2017. An update to the adventive aphids (Hemiptera: Aphidoidea) of America north of Mexico, with notes on intercepted species. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 119:90-111.
Mullen, K.M., Schneider, S.A., Nomark, B.B. 2016. New single-copy nuclear genes for scale insect systematics. Journal of Zoology. 99:207-214.
Favret, C., Blackman, R.L., Miller, G.L., Victor, B. 2016. Catalog of the phylloxerids of the world (Hemiptera, Phylloxeridae). ZooKeys. 629:83-101.
Broadbeck, B.V., Mckamey, S.H., Andersen, P.C., Oden, S., Mizell, R.F., Zapata, M. 2017. The distribution and biology of potential vectors of Xylella fastidiosa on coffee and citrus in Puerto Rico. Environmental Entomology. 46(3):511-520.
Mckamey, S.H. 2017. The identity of three South American “smiliine” treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae) and related taxonomic changes, including description of a new genus in Thuridini. ZooKeys. 678:65-72.
Medina, R.F., Dickey, A.M., Harrison, K., Miller, G.L. 2017. Host-associated differentiation in a pecan and water hickory Aphidomorpha community. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 162:366-378.
Simbaqueba-Cortes, R., Serna, F., Miller, G.L. 2016. First record of Takecallis taiwana (Takahashi) and T. arundinariae (Essig) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in Colombia. Agronomia Colombiana. 34(2):295-299.
Way, M.O., Vyavhare, S.S., Mock, C., Mock, W., Metz, K., Mckamey, S.H., Porter, P. 2016. Outbreak of Tagosodes orizicolus (Muir) in Texas rice. Southwest Entomology. 41(3):871-873.
Wieczorek, K., Bugaj-Nawrocka, A., Kanturski, M., Miller, G.L. 2017. Geographic variation of Chaetosiphella stipae stipae Hille Ris Lambers, 1947 (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Chaitophorinae) and the potential impact of climate change on its habitat. Scientific Reports. 7:43988/DOI:10.10.38/srep43988.
Xue, Q., Mckamey, S.H., Zhang, Y. 2017. Taxonomic revision of the Malaysian Idiocerinae (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), with description of new taxa. Zootaxa. 4226(3):405-408.
Xue, Q., Mckamey, S.H., Zhang, Y. 2017. A new species in the endemic Chilean leafhopper genus Chileanoscopus (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Idiocerinae). Zootaxa. 4237(3):567-573.
Mckamey, S.H. 2017. Two new species of unusual Ceresini (Hemiptera: Membracidae: Smiliinae). Zootaxa. 4281(1):115-119.
Qingquan, X., Mckamey, S.H., Zhang, Y. 2017. Redescription of the Phillippine leafhopper genus Iposcopus Baker (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Idiocerinae). Zootaxa. 4277(1):122-128.
Gonzales-Mozo, L., Mckamey, S.H., Ware, J., Hamilton, G. 2017. Two new species of Cyphotes Burmeister, 1835 (Hemiptera: Membracidae: Darninae). Zootaxa. 4281(1):108-114.
Henry, T.J., Howard, S.Z. 2016. Revision of the Neotropical plant bug genus Sinervus Stål (Heteroptera: Miridae: Bryocorinae: Eccritotarsinae), with the description of four new species and a closely related new genus. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 118(4):533-554.
Henry, T.J. 2017. A new species of the plant bug genus Rubrocuneocoris Schuh (Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae) from Hawaii. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 119(1):63-69.
Redei, D., Kondorosy, E., Ishikawa, T., Aukema, B., Brailovsky, H., Carapezza, A., Deckert, J., Dellape, P., Gao, C., Henry, T.J., Jung, S., Kment, P., Malipatil, M., O'Donnell, J., Scudder, G.E., Tomokuni, M. 2017. Case 3724 - Metochus abbreviatus Scott, 1874 (Insecta, Heteroptera): proposed precedence over Rhyparochromus erosus Walker, 1872 (currently Metochus erosus). The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 74(5):22-27.
Pineda, S., Henry, T.J., Corrales-Madrid, J.L., Martinez, A.M., Figueroa, J.I. 2017. First records of the dicyphine plant bug Nesidiocoris tenuis (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Miridae: Bryocorinae) in Mexico. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 119(2):290-295.