Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Whiteflies, Aphids, Scale Insects, and Jumping Plant Lice (suborder Sternorrhyncha, order Hemiptera, infraclass Neoptera, subclass Pterygota, class Insecta, subphylum Hexapoda, phylum Arthropoda, kingdom Animalia, domain Eukaryota) 

"Sternorryncha" means "breast beak" literally.    Because these insects share  with the "true bugs" of Heteroptera the characteristic beak used to suck fluid from sources it has penetrated, they are now classified as members of the Hemiptera order rather than standing alone in the former order Homoptera.

Jumping Plant Lice (Psylloidea superfamily)

Psyllidae family, Psylloidea superfamily

Jumping plant louse (Cacopsylla brevistigmata), Durham, NC, 11/28/17 Jumping plant louse (Cacopsylla brevistigmata), Durham, NC, 11/2/20 Jumping plant louse (Acizzia jamatonica), Durham, NC, 11/22/10

Aphalaridae family, Psylloidea superfamily

Hackberry Gall Psyllid (Pachypsylla celtidismamma), Durham, NC, 12/11/20 Same Hackberry Gall Psyllid          

Triozidae family, Psylloidea superfamily

Blackberry Psyllid (Phylloplecta tripunctata), Durham, NC, 1/1/24 Blackberry Psyllid (Phylloplecta tripunctata), Triozidae family, Psylloidea superfamily, Durham, NC, 1/9/21.  Family ID thanks to Vassily Belov.          

Liviidae family, Psylloidea superfamily

Jumping plant louse (Livia vernalis), Durham, NC, 1/25/22 Jumping plant louse (Livia vernalis), Durham, NC, 11/23/23 Jumping plant louse (Livia vernalis), Durham, NC, 11/23/23          

Cottony Cushion Scales (Monophlebidae family, Coccoidea superfamily)

Cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchasi), natural prey of Vedalia Beetles.  Ocracoke, Hyde County, NC, 4/20/19  ID thanks to Ken Wolgemuth.          

Whiteflies (Aleyrodidae family, superfamily Aleyrodidoidea)

Whitefly (about 1 mm long). Boone Greenway Trail, Watauga County, NC, 7/2/10

Aphids (family Aphididae, superfamily Aphidoidea, infraorder Aphidomorpha)

Aphids exhibit great variety, and it's a good idea to be leery of sweeping online generalizations made about members of this family. Some aphid adults typically have wings, e.g., the  Winged Pea Aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum)  while others, e.g., the abundant Mealy Plum Aphid (Hyalopterus pruni), develop wings only under certain environmental conditions not directly related to reproduction.  All aphids reproduce asexually continually until the onset of winter, when they reproduce sexually once, according to Mader (2004), p. 838.

Giant Aphids (Subfamily Lachninae)

Giant aphid (Eulachnus genus, subfamily Lachninae), Durham, NC, 10/26/21.  Genus ID thanks to Natalie Hernandez. Subfamily ID thanks to Ken Wolgemuth. Aphid, Durham, NC, 12/18/12          

Beech Blight Aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator, Eriosomatinae subfamily)

These aphids gathered in huge numbers on a tree branch at Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC on 8/31/07.  When disturbed, they waved their abdomens, with this white material stuck to them, up and down. 

Beech Blight Aphids, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 8/31/07.  ID thanks to Charley Eiseman.  

Asian Woolly Hackberry Aphid (Shivaphis celti, Eriosomatinae subfamily)

The air seems to be full of flies on mild late fall and early winter days, but they're actually mostly aphids!

Durham, NC, 10/13/08 Durham, NC, 10/27/20 Haw River State Park, Guilford & Rockingham Counties, NC, 5/31/08  

English Grain Aphid (Sitobion avenae)

Parent winged aphid (about 2 mm long) with two newborn aphids on a Cattail leaf, Durham, NC, 4/26/11.   ID thanks to Andrew Jensen.

Brown Ambrosia Aphid (Uroleucon ambrosiae)

I've been told that black aphids of this species are dead.  But I'm skeptical.  I saw a bunch of black aphids that looked very much like these (unaccompanied by red aphids, it's true) and tested this assertion by nudging them.  They all moved, and some crossed over to the other side of the leaf they were on.  Next time I see red and black aphids together, I'll perform a similar test.

Brown Ambrosia Aphid, Haw River State Park, Rockingham County, NC, 5/30/08 Brown Ambrosia Aphid with what seems to be an exuvia (cast off exoskeleton), Haw River State Park, Guilford & Rockingham Counties, 5/30/08  

Brown Ambrosia Aphids, NC Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 5/24/06 Brown Ambrosia Aphids, Durham, 6/19/06 Brown Ambrosia Aphid (Uroleucon ambrosiae), Durham, 6/19/06

Black aphids that are most definitely alive!  (Note that the top one is giving birth, to a grayish aphid.) Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 4/17/12 Another black aphid, Durham, NC, 10/27/20  

Mealy Plum Aphid (Hyalopterus pruni)

Mealy Plum Aphid giving birth on a cattail leaf. Durham, 6/14/08.  Mealy Plum Aphids attack plums in the spring and fall but spend the summer on cattails. Winged adult and nymph Mealy Plum Aphids, also on a cattail leaf.  Durham, NC, 6/14/08 More Mealy Plum Aphids. Maybe a Mealy Plum Aphid and exuvia.  White material on the aphid may be unremoved part of exuvia.  

Unidentified Aphids, maybe Pemphigidae family

Aphids, North River Park, Greenville, Pitt County, NC, 11/7/07  

Periphyllus genus Aphid

Aphid (Periphyllus genus, Chaitophorinae subfamily), Durham, NC, 7/30/10.  ID thanks to Andrew Jensen Durham, NC, 10/27/20 Another aphid, Durham, NC, 11/3/20  

Other unidentified aphids

Durham, NC, 10/27/20 Aphid, Durham, NC, 11/28/20 Aphid, Durham, NC, 11/26/20 Aphid, Durham, NC, 11/22/20 Aphids, Durham, NC, 11/17/20 Aphid, Durham, NC, 11/6/20 Aphid, Durham, NC, 4/9/19 Aphid, Durham, NC, 2/11/21  


Aphid, Durham, NC, 11/3/20 Same aphid          



Mader, S.S. (2004) Biology (8th ed.)  NY:McGraw-Hill.

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