Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2008
Publication Date: 2/17/2009
Citation: Miller, G.L., Favret, C., Carmichael, A., Voegtlin, D.J. 2009. Is there a cryptic species within Aulacorthum solani (Kaltenbach) (Hemiptera: Aphididae)?. Journal of Economic Entomology. 102(1):398-400. Interpretive Summary: The feeding damage of aphids and their ability to transmit diseases cause billions of dollars of damage yearly to commercial plants. One species of aphid found around the world on many different plants is commonly known as the foxglove aphid. This species is major pest of soybeans in Asia but, it is not a pest of soybeans in North America. There are no distinguishing morphological features that distinguish them. This study tests if there are two different species based on host plant differences. Molecular research was done to see if the foxglove aphid is a single species or a complex of species. Our findings indicate that it is indeed a single species. This is very important information for use by biological control and regulatory personnel especially at ports-of-entry.
Technical Abstract: The foxglove aphid, Aulacorthum solani (Kaltenbach), is cosmopolitan and feeds on a wide variety of host plants. This species is major pest of soybeans in Asia but, it is not a pest of soybeans in North America. Because of these host plant preferences, it has been suspected that A. solani may represent a species complex that is morphologically indistinguishable. Molecular analysis was used on samples of A. solani collected from various regions of the world to determine species homogeneity. Examination of DNA sequences of the 5’ end of the mitochondrial COI gene of A. solani reveals little variation between samples from broad geographic distribution. Whatever may be the causes of variation in the biology of A. solani, our current concept of this species remains intact. This is especially important for identifiers at ports-of-entry or in biological control programs.