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beech leaf pods and bug - Tetraneura ulmi

beech leaf pods and bug - Tetraneura ulmi
east lakeshore toronto, gta, Ontario, Canada
June 21, 2007
Size: bug is 1/16" long

Images of this individual: tag all
beech leaf pods and bug - Tetraneura ulmi beech leaf pods and bug - Tetraneura ulmi

How interesting! Tree of Life places this species in Pemphigidae in the superfamily Aphidoidea along with other gall producing aphids.
What do we do next?

Aphid taxonomy
All this name changing and taxonomic shuffling in the aphids sure makes it hard to sort them out! We don't seem to have any aphid experts contributing to BugGuide. I'll see if I can track someone down who can help clear this up.

Well, I emailed two aphid taxonomists but haven't gotten any response from them. However, I just found the following on Tree of Life's Aphidoidea page:

"In the literature, some aphidologists refer to the families in the above phylogeny as subfamilies, and the names therefore possess the suffix -inae, rather than -idae. There is no extremely good reason to prefer one categorization over the other and fortunately this dichotomy in the literature has led to little confusion. However, the use of family designations, as above, has the single advantage of allowing slightly more detail in taxonomic hierarchies. Since most of aphid phylogenetics remains unknown, much of the aphid tree must be represented by taxonomic hierarchies and the extra room made available from a promotion of some authors' subfamilies to families is useful for our purposes. Note that this promotion has the effect of promoting some tribes to sub-family status, but these cases are always straightforward and can be recognized by the simple differences in suffixes."

So, their scheme isn't necessarily the currently accepted one, if there is such a thing. Every other recent source I've consulted lumps everything into Aphididae. It seems like it would be useful if we could make a separate section for the woolly and gall-making aphids--both of which Borror and Delong place in the Eriosomatinae--but that might create confusion since it doesn't seem to correspond with Tree of Life's organization: they have Eriosomatinae as a subfamily of Pemphigidae, while some other gall aphids are placed in a separate family, the Hormaphididae. So it seems like BugGuide's current organization is probably the best, until the phylogenetics of aphids get worked out.


Moved from galls.

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