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Aphid Glossary

Short explanations of aphidological terms

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adelgids (woolly conifer-aphids):

feed on conifers and, whilst closely related to 'true' aphids, have no cauda or siphunculi. The complete life cycle lasts TWO years.

Read more... 

See also: Aphids on World Plants Wikipedia

aestivation:

a period of inactivity in summer (as opposed to hibernation, a period of inactivity in winter). In aphids aestivation and hibernation are usually responses to lack of nutrients, rather than temperature.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

alates:

winged individuals. All alates are adult, but not all adults have wings. Not all aphid species produce winged adults, and many do so in response to crowding, nutritional or environmental cues. Note: Alatiform nymphs are sometimes, loosely, described as 'alate'.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

alatiform:

individuals with wing-buds - usually fourth-instar(and sometimes 3rd instar) nymphs, destined to become winged (alate) adults. Alatiform nymphs are sometimes, loosely, described as 'alates'.

anal plate:

a hardened plate, sometimes also thickened and darkened, ventral to the anus. Only present in adults.

anholocyclic:

having an incomplete lifecycle. Such aphids reproduce parthenogenetically all year round. More exactly: anholocyclic aphids are 'species' which have never been shown to undergo sexual recombination. Note: some aphids are only anholocyclic over part of their geographic range.

antennal tubercles:

two lumps on the head, each of which bears one antenna.

See also: AphID 

antesiphuncular:

immediately anterior to the base of each siphunculus.

Anthocoridae (flower bugs, or pirate bugs):

A family of Hemiptera ('true bugs'). Usually less than 5 mm long, with soft, elongated, flat bodies - often patterned in black and white. Both their nymphs and adults are predatory. They often feed on aphids, and other small arthropods. They sometimes bite humans.

See also: Wikipedia 

Aphelinidae:

A family of very small wasps which are aphid parasitoids.

See also: Wikipedia

aphids:

commonly known as green-fly or black-fly in the UK, and as plant-lice in the USA. 'True aphids' are members of the Aphididae family, which is the sole member of the Aphidoidea superfamily, in the suborder Sternorrhyncha. The other superfamily in that suborder is the Phylloxeroidea which contains the family Adelgidae and the family Phylloxeridae - both of which are sometimes grouped with, or loosely described as, aphids.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

Aphidius:

a braconid genus of aphid parasitoids. The female wasp normally injects one egg into each aphid nymph.

aposematic:

warning coloration.

For example... 

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

apterae:

individuals lacking wings. Apterous aphids may be immature or adult, but (confusingly) the term apterae is often taken to mean wingless adults.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID

Binodoxys:

a braconid genus of aphid parasitoids. Has 2 sets of tubercles of various sizes and shapes, on the basis of which it can be separated from the Trioxys genus. e.g. Binodoxys communis, originally endemic to China, was introduced to Hawaii for biological control.

brachypterous:

having very short or incompletely-developed wings.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

Braconidae:

a large family of parasitoid wasps. Species are often black-brown with long ovipositors. Most species of aphid parasitoid belong to one of 8 genera: Aphidius, Binodoxys, Diaeretiella, Ephedrus, Lysiphlebus, Pauesia, Praon and Trioxys.

See also: Wikipedia

capitate hairs:

hairs having a knob-like swelling at their distal end.

Carabidae:

a large active family of predatory beetles known as 'ground beetles', most of which have shiny black, or metallic, ridged wing covers. Some carabids can produce nasty secretions to deter predators.

See also: Wikipedia

cauda:

a short, tail-like appendage.

See also: AphID 

Cecidomyiidae (gall midges):

the larvae of most species in this family cause abnormal plant growth, known as 'galls'. But the larvae of some species are aphid predators. Not to be confused with biting-midges (Ceratopogonidae) whose adults feed on blood, or non-biting midges (Chironomidae) which have aquatic larvae.

See also: Wikipedia

clarified slide mount (or permanent mount):

a slide-mounted semi-transparent ghost-like aphid outer-skin - obtained after removing the lipids, waxes, internal organs and suchlike, by treating the aphid with (among other things) alcohol and potassium hydroxide. This preparation enables you to see both dorsal and ventral features.

See also: Aphids on World Plants 

clypeus:

one of the sclerites making up the 'face' of an insect, lying between the labrum and the frons, usually separated from the latter by a groove.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

costa:

the leading edge of the wing (when in flight).

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Aphids on World Plants

coxa:

first segment of an insect leg. It joins the leg and body.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

Coccinellidae (ladybirds, UK; ladybugs, US):

a family of small, mainly predatory, beetles with black legs, heads and antennae. Their wing covers are usually yellow to red with black spots.

See also: Wikipedia

Chrysopidae (lacewings):

a large family of delicate insects, in the order Neuroptera. The larvae of some species are aphid predators. There are about 85 genera and 1300-2000 species of chrysopid.

See also: Wikipedia

crawler:

first instar nymph of an adelgid. Apart from winged forms, the crawler is the only active form of adelgids, and is the stage that actively locates a settling site on the tree.

cryptic:

concealed (hidden), hard-to-find.

For example... 

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

cultural control:

pest management by manipulating the growing environment, or by measures such as using resistant plants - as opposed to using insecticides or introducing organisms for biological control.

See also: Wikipedia

Dermaptera (earwigs):

Most species of the order Dermaptera are scavengers, but some are predators of other arthropods. Some earwig species are thought to be important aphid predators, for example in orchards.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

diapause:

suspended development.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

Diaeretiella:

a genus with only a single species: Diaeretiella rapae which attacks nearly 100 aphid species - notably Brevicoryne brassicae,  Diuraphis noxia, Lipaphis erysimi and Myzus persicae . Diaeretiella rapae has been used for biological control.

See also: Wikipedia

dimorph:

being ONE of two possible forms. For example, in summer Periphylus californiensis nymphs are dimorphic (of normal or dipausing form) - the diapausing nymphs are known as dimorphs.

dimorphic: having TWO possible morphs in a population. From Greek: di (=2) morphe (=form).

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. 

dorsum:

the back of an insect, corresponding to the spinal surface of vertebrates.

ecdysis:

moulting of the insect's cuticle.

Read more... 

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

eggs:

Except for a few (anholocyclic species) all aphids can lay eggs - primarily in order to survive cold, or food-scarcity. Adelgids and Phylloxerids lay eggs produced sexually or parthenogenetically. 'True aphids' only lay fertilized eggs - unfertilized eggs are very small, and develop directly to live young, which are borne viviparously.

Read more... 

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Aphids on World Plants Wikipedia

empodium:

lobe or spine between the 2 tarsal claws.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. 

Ephedrus:

a braconid genus of aphid parasitoids, with complete forewing venation and 5 closed cells. Ephedrus plagiator has been introduced as a biological control agent of the blue alfalfa-aphid, Acyrthosiphon kondoi.

eradicate:

Permanent reduction to zero, worldwide, as a result of deliberate effort. Eradicate is frequently misused to describe reduction to below detectable limits within a specified geographic area.

exule:

aphid on its secondary host.

exuvium:

the outer skin of an arthropod cast-off after a moult. - From the Latin 'exuviae': that which is stripped from a body.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

femur:

upper part of the leg, corresponding to the thigh in humans.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

frons:

middle-part of the front of the head.

fundatrigeniae:

progeny of a fundatrix, which is the founding female of a colony. 'Spring migrants' are winged fundatrigeniae of host-alternating aphids.

fundatrix (founding or stem mother):

adult female which has developed from an overwintering fertilized egg.

fuscous:

brownish-gray or dusky color.

See also:

gallicola:

female which hatched from eggs laid by an adelgid fundatrix.

gynoparae (=sexuparae):

parthenogenetic females that produce oviparae (sexual females, able to produce eggs). In host alternating species these are the returning migrant alates.

holocyclic:

having a complete life cycle. Such aphids alternate parthenogenesis with sexual reproduction.

host alternation:

regular seasonal movement between a woody (primary) host plant, and a herbaceous (secondary) host plant.

hyaline:

of transparent; amorphous, glass-like appearance.

See also: Wikipedia

imaginal:

adult. An adult insect is known as an imago.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

instar:

developmental stage between each moult. Most aphid species go though 4 nymphal instars before moulting to the adult stage.

For example... 

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

Lysiphlebus:

a braconid genus of aphid parasitoids, comprising more than 20 species, which collectively exploit over 100 aphid species as hosts including a number of important agricultural pests. Within Lysiphlebus two well-defined species-groups are recognised: the fabarum group, and the testaceipes group.

marginal sclerite:

hardened lateral dorsal plate.

marginal tubercles:

rounded bumps that protrude from the side of the insect's abdominal segments.

See also:

median frontal tubercle:

rounded bump midway on the head between the antennal tubercles.

See also:

mesonotum:

the upper surface of the middle segment of the thorax (the mesothorax).

See also:

mesothorax:

the middle segment of the thorax.

See also: Wikipedia

metanotum:

the dorsal exoskeletal plate of the metathorax. The metathorax is the hindmost of three leg-bearing segments in the insect's thorax. Its principal sclerites are the metanotum, the metasternum (ventral), and metapleuron (which lie on either side).

See also: Wikipedia

mites:

along with ticks, comprise the subclass Acari in the class Arachnida. Mite species are incredibly diverse: Many are microscopic. Some are important decomposers, some are predators, some are parasites.

For example... 

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

monoecious:

remains on one host plant species all of the year. Does not move between a woody (primary) host plant, and a herbaceous (secondary host) host plant.

morph:

originally from the Greek, morphe, meaning form. 'Morph' usually denotes a distinct adult body form, occasionally an immature body form, assumed to be one of several alternatives. Morph does NOT denote plastic change, nor metamorphosis - immature aphid instars, and mature aphids, have a discrete  set of body forms. Some forms are dictated genetically (=genomorphs), but most are dictated environmentally (=phenomorphs). Caution: whilst 'morph' is in common use, in practice the meaning is imprecise.

Read more... 

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Aphids on World Plants Wikipedia

mummy:

aphid nymphs parasitized by some wasp species die shortly before the wasps emerge. The aphids' swollen, brown body is called a mummy.

See also:

nymph:

the young of an insect which undergoes incomplete metamorphosis.

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See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

ocellus:

a 'simple', single-lens eye.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

oviparae:

females that produce eggs by sexual reproduction, not live young.

See also: AphID 

oviposit:

to lay eggs, not live young.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. 

Palaearctic:

Europe, northern Africa, the northern and central Arabian Peninsula, and Asia (north of the Himalaya foothills) including China and Japan.

See also: Wikipedia 

parasitoids:

are parasites which invariably kill their host. Aphid parasitoids are parasitic wasps, of family Braconidae (usually 2-3 mm long) or Aphelinidae (0.6-1.4 mm long), that lay eggs inside aphids (usually the nymphs).
primary parasitoids:
feed upon and develop within an aphid host.
secondary parasitoids:
feed upon and develop within a primary parasitoid. Also termed hyperparasites.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

parthenogenetic:

able to reproduce without requiring males. Asexual reproduction. Parthenogenesis: from the Greek parthenos (=virgin) + genesis (=creation).

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

Pauesia:

are a braconid genus of aphid parasitoids. Pauesia only use conifer aphids (Cinara) as their host. Pauesia grossa is a parasitoid of the black stem aphid, Cinara confinis,  a pest of fir trees.

For example... 

See also: Wikipedia

pericaudal:

around the cauda (the insect's tail-end).

polygonal reticulation:

in some aphid species the distal end of their siphunculi have an irregular pattern of polygons, each being 1/3 to 1/6 of the siphuncular width.

polyphagous:

able to feed on a wide range of different things. 'Polyphagous aphids' can grow to maturity when feeding upon any one of many host plant species, of at least several genera.

For example... 

See also: Wikipedia

polyphenism:

the ability to form multiple discrete phenotypes (forms) from a single genotype. As distinct from polymorphism (multiple morphs) in that, for example, aphid males are a distinct sexual form, produced asexually, but are genetically different from their mothers and from sexual females (oviparae).

Read more... 

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Aphids on World Plants Wikipedia

postsiphuncular:

location immediately posterior to the base of each siphunculus.

Praon:

this braconid genus of aphid parasitoids is one of the largest genera of the subfamily Aphidiinae, with more than 50 species described worldwide. Praon parasitoids spin their cocoon UNDER the empty body of the aphid (most other Aphidiines pupate INSIDE the parasitized aphid). Many species are important parasitoids in various agro ecosystems. Praon volucre has been considered as a biological control agent of the pest aphid Uroleucon ambrosiae on lettuce in Brazil.

preferred host:

the species of plant upon which an aphid species is most commonly-found, and which enables it to breed most successfully. Monoecious aphids have only one species of preferred host. Most aphid species have several preferred hosts, usually of one plant genus. Many host alternating species have one primary host, but secondary hosts representing several genera. Few aphids are genuinely polyphagous but, especially when their numbers are high, some aphids raise colonies on (less-suitable) overflow host-plant species - a few accidentals, on unsuitable hosts, may feed but fare very porely.

See also: Aphids on World Plants 

primary host:

The primary host is the plant species upon which a host-alternating aphid species lays its (sexually produced) eggs, from which fundatrices emerge. Many aphid species spend the cooler season on a 'primary' usually-woody host plant, and move to a 'secondary' usually herbaceous host plant for the warmer season.

Host alternating adelgids spend at least one year on the primary host, and at least one on the secondary host. Adelgids lay sexually-produced eggs on their primary host, and parthenogenetically-produced eggs on the secondary host - from which pseudo-fundatrices emerge.

Note: primary host means something quite different to, for instance, parasitologists. See: Wikipedia 

primary rhinaria:

these rhinaria are plate-like sensory patches on the (distal) fifth and (proximal) sixth antennal segments of aphids, presumed to be (at least primarily) smell-receptors.

progredientes (plural) (singular = progrediens):

adelgid exules that do not diapause, and moult from the first to second instar with no delay.

pronotum:

a sclerotized structure covering all or part of the dorsal surface of the thorax.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. 

prosternum:

the ventral plate of the most anterior segment of the thorax.

prothorax:

the most anterior segment of the thorax - to which are attached the front legs.

See also: Wikipedia

pseudo-fundatrix:

wingless female adelgid which hatches from eggs produced parthenogenetically by an adelgid gallicola. A 'true' fundatrix hatches from a fertilized egg.

pseudogall:

A 'pseudogall' is produced by rolling, folding or crumpling of the leaf without any cellular enlargement or proliferation.

A 'true gall' is an abnormal plant growth caused by cellular enlargement and/or proliferation, due to the action of another organism, which provides that organism with shelter and/or nutrients.

pseudosensoria:

scent glands on the hind tibiae of the ovipara, similar in appearance to rhinaria.

pterostigma:

a dark pigmented spot on the wing's leading edge and toward the tip.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Aphids on World Plants Wikipedia

pterothorax:

the middle and hind and segments of the thorax. Bearing, respectively, the fore wings and hind wings.

See also: Wikipedia

pulverulence:

a covering of fine wax powder.

reticulate:

patterned with a network of lines.

See also: AphID

rhinaria:

sensory patches on the antennae of aphids, presumed to be (at least primarily) smell-receptors.
primary rhinaria:
are large & plate-like, on segments 5 & 6.
secondary rhinaria:
are small, on any of segments 3 4 & 5.

rostrum:

beak-like labium (or lower-lip) usually of 4 segments, supporting the stylets (modified mandibles and maxillae that form the salivary canal and food canal).

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

Rs:

one of the veins near the wing tip. Aphids on World Plants 

sclerite:

hardened plate, sometimes also thickened and darkened.

scleroite:

a small hardened plate (sclerite) encircling the base of a single hair.

See also: AphID

sclerotic:

hardened, sometimes also thickened and darkened.

secondary host:

many aphid species spend the warmer season on a 'secondary' usually herbaceous host plant, and move to a 'primary' usually-woody host plant for the cooler season.

Note, in parasitology, a secondary host harbors a parasite for only a short period during its develpoment. See Wikipedia

secondary rhinaria:

small sensory patches on the third, fourth and fifth antennal segment of aphids, presumed to be (at least primarily) smell-receptors.

sensillum:

a simple sensory receptor, typically hair-shaped or rod-shaped. A modified cell, or small group of cells, of the cuticle or epidermis.

setae:

bristle or stiff hair, or a structure resembling such.

See also: AphID Wikipedia

sexuales:

sexual forms. Males and oviparae (females that lay eggs, not live young).

sexuparae (=gynoparae):

those that bear the sexual generation. In other words: females whose offspring develop to sexual forms.

sistentes:

wingless, parthenogenetic female adelgids that have a period of diapause in the first instar.

siphunculi (= cornicles, US):

a pair of (dorsal, posterior) abdominal tubes that secrete a defensive fluid. Most aphid species (but no non-aphids) have siphunculi.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

spinal tubercles:

rounded bumps that protrude from near the midline of the insect's dorsum.

spiracles:

a lateral series of pores that allow air to enter the tracheal tubes, which deliver oxygen to the tissues.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. Wikipedia

spring migrant:

the winged-form which moves from the primary (=winter) host to the secondary (=summer) host in spring.

sternites:

ventral sclerites of an abdominal segment.

See also: Wikipedia

stylets:

a pair of threadlike mouthparts extruded from the rostrum which form a tube for piercing, then conveying liquid nutrients into the aphid.

See also: Wikipedia

supracaudal process:

a protuberance above the cauda, which can make the aphid appear to have 2 tails.

syrphids (hover-flies, flower flies, sun flies):

Diptera of the family Syrphidae that mimic bees/wasps. The larvae of some species are aphid predators. Note, syrphids whose larvae are known as 'rat-tailed maggots', and live in sewage, do NOT feed upon aphids.

See also: Wikipedia

systemic insecticide:

an insecticide that spreads through the entire plant, as opposed to one which is only active on the part of the plant to which it is applied.

See also: Wikipedia

tarsus:

the segments that would correspond to a 'foot' in humans.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

teneral:

Recently moulted - before the newly-exposed cuticle has hardened and darkened. Tenerals are therefore soft and atypically pale, and winged tenerals have problems flying.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. 

tergite:

the dorsal plate covering a segment.

See also: Wikipedia

terminal process:

the narrower part of the last antennal segment sometimes called the processus terminalis or unguis.

See also: AphID

tibia:

lower part of the leg, corresponding to the calf in humans.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

trichomes:

any outgrowths of the plant - including hairs, scales, or papillae.

See also: Wikipedia

Trioxys:

a braconid genus of aphid parasitoids, comprising 50 species worldwide - characterised by the first tergite having a pair of spiracular tubercles, and the terminal metasomal sternite having 2 posterior prongs. Trioxys have been used for biological control of aphid pest species. Trioxys pallidus was introduced to control the walnut aphid, Chromaphis juglandicola,  in USA.

trochanter:

the second leg segment, counting from the body - lying between the coxa and the femur.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID Wikipedia

viviparae:

females that give birth to live young. All viviparous aphids are parthenogenetic.

See also: Amateur Ent. Soc. AphID

xeric:

Said of an environment or habitat that is extremely dry, lacking humidity and water.
 

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