Let’s talk about aphid identification.
**But first, I want to point out that in the following paper I am given credit for “confirming the identification of aphid species studied.” This is a false statement. I was never offered an opportunity to provide identifications for this paper. Table 1 contains many spelling errors which should cast doubt on the credibility of everyone involved. I herewith declare that I had nothing to do with this paper, and today, 14 December 2018 was the first time I set eyes on it. **
Klein, M.L., S.I. Rondon, D.L. Walenta, Q. Zeb, and A.F. Murphy. 2017. Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in the Columbia Basin and Northeastern Oregon. Journal of Economic Entomology 110: 1899–1910.
As mentioned elsewhere, I often provide identification advice to colleagues and students around the world. I am always interested in identification of aphids for research and extension specialists, agricultural crop managers, etc. The best way for me to help is to offer guidance up front on sample collection and processing, and then to offer identification of processed (e.g. slide mounted) specimens and confirmation of identifications attempted by others.
A couple caveats:
1. It really works best for me to have actual specimens to look at, mount, and process ‘by the book’ for aphid taxonomy. A lot of times people send me photographs or even verbal descriptions of an aphid and ask for an identification. I might be able to help, but probably not very much. If you plan research or any other work that will require aphid identification to species, I recommend talking with an expert before starting the project.
2. I know best the aphids in the subfamily Aphidinae. This is a great majority of the species in North America, but it means that I am not much help with many of the aphids that form galls on various trees and shrubs (Eriosomatinae) and I am not the best expert for aphids living on conifers (e.g. Cinara, Essigella, Mindarus).
If you are interested in help with aphid identification, send me a note from the ‘Contact Us’ page. And, if I have never looked at your aphids, please don’t claim in print that I have.