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Title: Fitch’s Aphis mali Varieties are Rhopalosiphum insertum (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

item Miller, Gary

Submitted to: Entomological News
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2008
Publication Date: 2/19/2009
Citation: Favert, C., Miller, G.L., Jensen, A.S. 2009. Fitch’s Aphis mali varieties are Rhopalosiphum insertum (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Entomological News. 119(5):521-523.

Interpretive Summary: The feeding damage of aphids and their ability to transmit diseases cause losses of billions of dollars yearly to world agricultural crops. It is critical that proper identification be established before any control program can start. This paper clarifies the status of several aphid names considered doubtful that we found to be synonyms of the apple-grass aphid that attacks older apple trees. The findings are important to Federal quarantine specialists, state entomologists, extension personnel, and scientists studying aphids.

Technical Abstract: Eight specimens of Asa Fitch’s Aphis mali "varieties" were recently rediscovered in the National Aphidoidea Collection at Beltsville, MD. Previously regarded as nomina dubia, those specimens include: A. mali var. fulviventris, var. nigricollis, var. nigriventris, var. obsoleta, var. pallidicornis, var. tergata, var. thoracica, and var. triseriata. Fitch’s A. mali specimens were all subsequently determined as junior synonyms of Rhopalosiphum insertum (Walker). Nomenclatural clarification of this type is critical in both systematic and taxonomic research.