Location: Systematic Entomology LaboratoryTitle: Reexamination of Rhopalosiphum (Hemiptera: Aphididae) using linear discriminant analysis to determine the validity of synonymized species, with some new synonymies and distribution data
Submitted to: Biodiversity Data Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2020
Publication Date: 1/27/2020
Publication URL: https://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/6862069
Citation: Skvarla,, M.J., Owen, C.L., Miller, G.L. 2020. Reexamination of Rhopalosiphum (Hemiptera: Aphididae) using linear discriminant analysis to determine the validity of synonymized species, with some new synonymies and distribution data. Biodiversity Data Journal. 8(e49102.). https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.8.e49102.
Interpretive Summary: Aphids are agriculturally important insects that cause billions of dollars in crop damage each year. Damage is caused not only through direct feeding but also through the transmission of plant pathogens. Proper identification is paramount before any research or regulatory program can begin. This paper focuses on the aphid genus Rhopalosiphum. It evaluates current species placed in the genus through extensive morphological comparisons and statistical analysis. Such evaluation is critical in the proper identification of the group which will be subsequently important for quarantine and control measures. This will be useful for ecologists, entomologists, and state and federal regulatory officials
Technical Abstract: Rhopalosiphum (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a small, but economically important, genus of aphids. Although 19 species are currently recognized, 85 names have been proposed historically. Some species are morphologically similar, especially alate individuals, and most synonymies were proposed in catalogues without specific reasons given. This has led to great confusion and difficulty in making accurate species-level identifications. We compared 34 valid and synonymized species using linear discriminant analysis of 49 measurements and 20 ratios from 1,030 individual aphids to reassess previously proposed synonymizations. We found that the analysis works well for apterae but poorly for alatae, which are morphologically similar. Our analyses confirmed many of the proposed synonymies, which will help stabilize the nomenclature and species concepts within Rhopalosiphum.