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Overview

Brief Summary

Aphids, or plant lice, are small insects that suck up plant juices. They secrete lots of honeydew, a sweet fluid. Ants in particular are attracted to this fluid. They even keep and guard aphids as if they were cows. Plant lice reproduce several generations in one year, in winged as well as wingless form. Many species cause characteristic growths (galls) on their host plants.
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Introduction

The Aphidoidea contains most of the extant families and species of aphids. Two additional extant families of aphids, the Phylloxeridae and Adelgidae, can be found in the supefamily Phylloxeroidea. Although the fossil evidence suggests that the Aphidoidea diversified concomitant with the first angiosperms in the lower Cretaceous (approx. 140 MY), it is likely that the family is much older. For example, three groups, the Prociphilini (Pemphigidae), Mindarus (Mindaridae) and Neophyllis (Drepanosiphidae), have what are probably ancient ties to conifers. Therefore 140 MY should be considered a minimum estimate of the age of the superfamily with something over 200 MY a serious possibility. Most aphid families went extinct at the Cretaceous-Teriary (K/T) boundary along with the dinosuars and the majority of extant taxa can be found in the family Aphididae, which underwent a striking radiation in the Miocene (approx. 5-26 MY). There are excellent discussions of aphid fossils and the geological record in Heie (1987, 1994a).

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Comprehensive Description

Nomenclature

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.

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Ecology

Associations

Animal / predator
adult of Adalia bipunctata is predator of Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Anemone Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Anthocoris is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Anthocoris confusus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
Anthocoris nemorum is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
Anthocoris sarothamni is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Aphidoletes aphidimyza is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Aphidoletes urticariae is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Baccha elongata is predator of Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Bean Yellow Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Beet Mild Yellowing Virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Beet Western Yellows virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Beet Yellows virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Broad Bean Wilt virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
nymph of Campylomma verbasci is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / dung/debris feeder
adult of Campyloneura virgula feeds on dung/debris honeydew of Aphidoidea
Remarks: season: 7-10

Animal / predator
Cardiastethus fasciiventris is predator of Aphidoidea
Remarks: captive: in captivity, culture, or experimentally induced

Virus / infection vector
Carnation Etched Ring virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Chrysopidae feeds on honeydew Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Coccinella septempunctata is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / pathogen
Conidiobolus coronatus infects live adult of Aphidoidea

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / pathogen
Conidiobolus obscurus infects live adult of Aphidoidea

Animal / pathogen
Conidiobolus thromboides infects live adult of Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Cucumber Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Cyllecoris histrionius is predator of Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Virus / infection vector
Dahlia Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Dasysyrphus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / associate
larva of Dasysyrphus tricinctus is associated with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Deraeocoris ruber is predator of Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Animal / predator
larva of Didea is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Diodontus insidiosus stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Diodontus luperus stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Diodontus minutus stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Diodontus tristis stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
nymph of Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / pathogen
Entomophthora nouryi infects adult of Aphidoidea

Animal / pathogen
Entomophthora occidentalis infects live Aphidoidea

Animal / pathogen
Entomophthora phalloides infects live Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Epistrophe is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Epistrophe euchroma is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Epistrophe grossulariae is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Episyrphus balteatus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Eriozona syrphoides is predator of Aphidoidea
Other: sole host/prey

Animal / pathogen
pure white to grey or rarely green, shaggy rhizoids of Erynia conica infects adult of Aphidoidea
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Animal / pathogen
Erynia radicans infects live Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Eupeodes corollae is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Eupeodes luniger is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica aquilonia feeds on honeydew Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica exsecta feeds on honeydew Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica lugubris feeds on honeydew Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Animal / slave maker
Formicidae makes a slave of Aphidoidea

Animal / honeydew feeder
larva of Halyzia sedecimguttata feeds on honeydew Aphidoidea
Remarks: season: esp. spring and early summer
Other: minor host/prey

Animal / predator
Heterocordylus genistae is predator of Aphidoidea

Plant / associate
adult of Heterotoma planicornis is associated with Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Animal / predator
Himacerus apterus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
Himacerus mirmicoides is predator of Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Hippeastrum Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Hyacinth Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Lettuce Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Leucopis is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Leucozona is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Leucozona glaucia is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Leucozona lucorum is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
Malacocoris chlorizans is predator of Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Animal / predator
larva of Melangyna cincta is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Melangyna guttata is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Melangyna lasiophthalma is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Melangyna triangulifera is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Meliscaeva auricollis is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Meliscaeva cinctella is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Metasyrphus nielseni is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Monobremia subterranea is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
Nabis ferus is predator of Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Narcissus White Streak virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Narcissus Yellow Stripe virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / pathogen
Neozygites fresenii infects live Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Onion Yellow Dwarf virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Orius majusculus is predator of Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Ornithogalum Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
Orthotylus marginalis is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
Orthotylus ochrotrichus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
nymph of Orthotylus tenellus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / pathogen
Pandora neoaphidis infects Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Paragus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Parasyrphus punctulatus is predator of Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Passaloecus clypealis stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Passaloecus eremita stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Passaloecus gracilis stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Passaloecus insignis stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Passaloecus monilicornis stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Passaloecus singularis stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Passaloecus turionum stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Pea Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Pemphredon inornata stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Pemphredon lethifera stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Pemphredon lugubris stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Pemphredon morio stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Pemphredon rugifera stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Phylus coryli is predator of Aphidoidea
Remarks: season: end 6-mid 8

Animal / predator
adult of Phylus melanocephalus is predator of Aphidoidea
Remarks: season: early 6-early 8

Animal / predator
larva of Pipiza is predator of gall inhabiting Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Pipiza noctiluca is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Pipizella is predator of ant-attended, root-feeding Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Platycheirus is predator of Aphidoidea
Other: major host/prey

Animal / predator
larva of Platycheirus manicatus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Platycheirus peltatus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Platycheirus scutatus is predator of Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Potato Aucuba Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Potato Leaf Roll virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Potato Mosaic virus A is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Potato Mosaic virus Y is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Potato Paracrinkle virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
nymph of Psallus ambiguus is predator of Aphidoidea
Remarks: season: 5

Animal / predator
nymph of Psallus betuleti is predator of Aphidoidea
Remarks: season: late 4-mid 6

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Psenulus pallipes stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Salicarus roseri is predator of Aphidoidea
Remarks: season: mid 6-8
Other: major host/prey

Animal / predator
larva of Scaeva is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Scaeva pyrastri is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Scaeva selenitica is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Sphaerophoria is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Stigmus pendulus stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator / stocks nest with
female of Stigmus solskyi stocks nest with Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Syrphus ribesii is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Syrphus torvus is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
larva of Syrphus vitripennis is predator of Aphidoidea

Animal / predator
adult of Systellonotus triguttatus is predator of Aphidoidea
Remarks: season: late 5-mid 8

Animal / predator
larva of Thaumatomyia is predator of Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Tomato Aspermy virus is spread by Aphidoidea

Virus / infection vector
Wisteria Vein Mosaic virus is spread by Aphidoidea

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

View Aphidoidea Tree

This phylogeny was constructed by Heie (1987) based on morphology, fossils and life-cycles. The positions of the two taxa Anoeciidae and Phloeomyzidae are not clear. Heie discussed the difficulties in placing these two taxa and placed the Anoeciidae tentatively as the sister famliy to the Pemphigidae. However, it is likely that the Anoeciidae, which consists of the two very different and seemingly unrelated genera, Anoecia and Aiceona, is polyphyletic.

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