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Aphalaroida? - Aphalaroida inermis - female

Aphalaroida? - Aphalaroida inermis - Female
Columbus, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
December 7, 2016
Size: 2 mm
Collected by sweeping Atriplex canescens at coordinates: 31.792446, -107.631760. It reminds me of Aphalaroida inermis although its colors and wing spot pattern differ from the A. inermis I found recently.

Images of this individual: tag all
Aphalaroida? - Aphalaroida inermis - female Aphalaroida? - Aphalaroida inermis - female Aphalaroida? - Aphalaroida inermis - female Aphalaroida? - Aphalaroida inermis - female Aphalaroida? - Aphalaroida inermis - female

Moved from Psylloidea.

Yep, Aphalaroida inermis female
On wing pattern, Hodkinson notes that unlike most psyllids (in which the wing pattern is present almost immediately upon emergence), Aphalaroida gradually develops its wing pattern over time, similar to how most adult psyllids are pale-bodied at first and darken as they age. Aphalaroida wing patterns are produced by a gradual differential darkening of the the surface sculpture of the wing membrane, producing distinctive patterns. Looking at the images in the guide, it seems that both the body and the wings darken at about the same rate in this genus, so it's not surprising that this darker individual has darker and more pronouncedly-patterned wings. Hodkinson cautions that "different wing-pattern forms of the same species have often been collected simultaneously and then incorrectly attributed to different species".

Because of the wing pattern variability, other characters are used to ID this genus reliably. This individual, like your other, lacks conspicuous hairs on the head, thorax, and wings, distinguishing it from the others in the guide and puts it in the acaciae / californica / inermis / masonici / lysilomae group. The antennae, which are about the length of the head, rule out the shorter-antennaed masonici / lysilomae, which are neotropical species anyway. The more-or-less rhomboidal, parallel sided wing, and the female genitalia, especially the dorsal valve which abruptly slopes downward in the apical half, all point to inermis.

This is quite a pretty species, great photos of this one. Sorry for all the technical info! I know some editors move images without much of an explanation but I like to leave some sort of explanation such that if you or anybody else stumbles across this bug in the future then they will have an idea on how to identify it :)

Thank you Chris!
Your explanations on how you arrived to the species ID are most helpful to anyone interested in these bugs.
I captured a couple more specimens and they all had different wing patterns, but somehow they retained a general similar appearance.
I can't thank you enough for how fast you have identified Psylloidea contributions to BG. Your enthusiasm and thorough knowledge of these critters is evident.

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