Collection Database

I provide here a PDF version of the spreadsheet I keep of all the slides in my aphid collection.  This might be useful to other aphid specialists interested in whether I might have found certain rare species, or with an eye toward borrowing material, or perhaps studying the known ranges of species they are interested in. Regarding the latter, for example, I know for a fact that my field work has substantially expanded the known geographical and host ranges of several species.  If you want to borrow material, I am open to requests, within reason. One thing I definitely welcome is exchange of specimens.  If I have something of interest to you, perhaps you can find something of interest to me and we can exchange.

The February 2021 release of my slide collection database reflects all 12,450 slide records in my collection.  During winter of 2020-21 I did substantial collection curation, adding, deleting, or changing species names on many slides. Major groups I worked on included Aphis (Zyxaphis) and Illinoia on Betulaceae and Ranunculaceae. I also sorted some groups of slides that already had species names, correcting errors that had crept into my species identifications. Several Pleotrichophorus species were my primary focus. One major paper was just published in January 2021, covering the aphids on Holodiscus. This work resulted in many species name additions and changes in the collection, with a new species, Acyrthosiphon rockspirea, elucidation of the identity of Illinoia gracilicornis, and some synonymies and correct identification of Aphis cercocarpi. As with every winter curation effort, many slides were changed in the database, host information added or changed, etc. I also made some headway in fixing my notations for the morphs on the slides, especially trying to correct my use of “m” and “am” for apterous and alate males, respectively. The way this website works, old links will link to the old database.  To make the new database active, you must use the link I provide below.  Or, better yet, simply link to this page.

Some of the Macrosiphum slides.
Some of the Macrosiphum slides.

A few notes about my collection:

  1. Species identifications were completed to the best of my ability at the time I processed the sample and filed the slides in the collection, or when I subsequently conducted collection curation activities during the winter.  Some identifications were inadequately informed and quite probably wrong.  On the other hand, there are some groups that I do not assign species names to, such as some Nasonovia (Kakimia), Hyperomyzus (Neonasonovia), ObtusicaudaEricaphis, etc.; I do this because I think the species-level taxonomy is inadequate and that therefore a species name on a slide means little. If you find a long list of specimens in my collection without species names it is usually because of this issue, or because I know with some confidence that I have an un-described species.
  2. You may notice that in the host plant column I often have only plant genus listed.  This is simply because my plant taxonomy skills are strong at the family and genus level, but I lack the time (or staff) and resources to get species identifications on my host plants (remember, this is my hobby).
  3. I do not use GPS coordinates when I collect.  I tried this for a while, and found it time consuming, then I left my GPS on the top of my car once and drove off.  It was crushed on the highway.  Also, because I make all my own slides with limited equipment, I hand-write my labels and would rather not write GPS coordinates on them all!  My collection is old-school.

With that said, and more caveats possibly to come, here it is:

Jensen Aphid Slide Collection as of February 2021

The whole collection as of April 2018 (10-20 boxes added most years). I love the color variation in slide boxes. Color choice reflects the cost of box colors on Amazon over the years.