Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 19, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Within the Homoptera, the Aphididae represent an economically important group of insects. Aphids are plant feeders and extract plant fluids through narrow tube-like mouthparts. While the mechanical damage can reduce plant vigor, some aphids can also serve as vectors of several plant viruses that damage plants. Additionally, aphids secrete "honeydew" as a byproduct of their feeding. This substance is high in plant sugars, collects on adjacent leaves, and in turn serves as a medium for saprophytic fungi. These fungi grow on the leaf surface and reduce the photosynthetic properties and overall vigor of the plant. Growth of the fungi creates a plant that is aesthetically unmarketable. In North America, 15 species of aphids have been determined to feed on wild and cultivated chrysanthemums. The present paper provides descriptions and keys for species determination. While some species of aphids are able to transmit several viruses damaging to chrysanthemums, not all aphid species are known as vectors. This work provides a means of distinguishing aphid vectors of chrysanthemum viruses. This paper will be helpful for growers, hobbyists, extension workers, and taxonomists for identifying aphids on chrysanthemums.
Technical Abstract: Fifteen aphid species known to colonize chrysanthemums in the United States are described and illustrated. A brief summary of taxonomic characters, cultivated and wild hosts, and distribution within the United States and throughout the world are given for each species along with a key and illustrations