Aphalara persicaria Caldwell, 1937

Halbert, Susan E. & Burckhardt, Daniel, 2020, The psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) of Florida: newly established and rarely collected taxa and checklist, Insecta Mundi 2020 (788), pp. 1-88 : 8-12

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https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.4564694

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Aphalara persicaria Caldwell, 1937


Aphalara persicaria Caldwell, 1937 View in CoL

( Fig. 14–43 View Figures 14–27 View Figures 28–43 )

Aphalara persicaria Caldwell 1937: 565 View in CoL ; Caldwell 1938a: 237; Hodkinson 1988: 1182; Burckhardt and Lauterer 1997a: 305. Aphalara persicaria var. cubana Caldwell 1937: 565 View in CoL ; Hodkinson 1988: 1182; Burckhardt and Lauterer 1997a: 305.

Materials examined. Cuba: holotype ♂ and 1 ♂, 1 ♀ paratype of Aphalara persicaria var. cubana , Havana (Baker) ( USNM, dry mounted) . – Mexico: 1 ♀, Tlaxcala, Nanacamilpa, San Felipe Hidalgo, 19.4573/4678 -98.5615/5671, 2800–2890 m, 15.viii.2015, Persicaria hydropiperoides (D. Burckhardt and D.L. Queiroz) ( NHMB, dry mounted) . – USA: Florida: Alachua County : 7 ♂, 6 ♀, 2 immatures, Gainesville , pond, 6.vii.1972, Persicaria punctata (D.H. Habeck) ( USNM, dry and slide mounted) ; 1 ♂, 2 ♀, Gainesville, Biven’s Arm , 4 and 16.viii.1972, Persicaria punctata (D.H. Habeck) ( USNM, dry mounted) ; 1 ♂, 2 ♀, Gainesville , 23.viii.1972, Persicaria punctata (J.P. Heppner) ( USNM, dry mounted) ; 1 immature, Micanopy, River Styx , 28.xii.2003, Persicaria glabra (J. Brambila and E. Cronin) FSCA (slide mounted) ; 5 ♂, 5 ♀, 2 immatures, McIntosh, Hwy 346 and River Styx , 27.iii.2004, Persicaria glabra (D. Burckhardt) ( NHMB, in 70% ethanol) ; 1 ♂, 8 ♀, 2 immatures, Gainesville, SW 42 Street near Interstate 75 and SW 42 Street , 28.iii.2004, Persicaria cf. maculosa (D. Burckhardt) ( NHMB, dry mounted) ; 1 ♀, Gainesville, between US Post Office and Walker’s Furniture store, 29.608283, –82.373283, 40 m, 25.iv.2017, Persicaria punctata (D. Burckhardt and D.L. Queiroz). Collier County: 1 ♂, Immokalee, SW FL R&E Center, 15–22.v.2014, tall suction trap (S. Croxton) ( FSCA, slide mounted) GoogleMaps ; 1 ♀, Immokalee, SW FL R&E Center, 4–11. xii.2014, short suction trap ”south” (S. Croxton) ( FSCA, slide mounted) ; 1 ♀, Immokalee, 26.44395, –81.458083, 10 m, 20.iv.2017, Persicaria punctata (D. Burckhardt and D.L. Queiroz) ( NHMB, dry mounted). Hardee County: 1 ♂, 4 ♀, 17 immatures, 2 mi E of Wauchula on 636, 11.iv.1991, Polygonum sp. (J. Bennet and K. Hibbard) ( USNM, dry and slide mounted). Highlands County : 1 ♀, Archbold Biological Station , 26.i.1961 (S.W. Frost) ( USNM, dry mounted). Indian River County : 2 ♂, 2 ♀, 1 immature, 2 mi Vero Beach, 26.xi.1990, Polygonum sp. (K. Hibbard and F. Mead) ( USNM, dry and slide mounted) GoogleMaps ; 1 ♀, 5 immatures, nr. Vero Beach, Indian River Co., 2 mi W of I-95 on SR60, 1.ii.1991, Polygonum sp. (K. Hibbard and F. Mead) ( USNM, slide mounted). Marion County : 1 ♀, River Styx , 28.iii.2004, Polygonum sp. (J. Brambila) ( FSCA, slide mounted). Palm Beach County : 1 ♀, rural Palm Beach Co. , 26.xi.1982, sweep sample, young cane (D.G. Hall) ( USNM, dry mounted). Pinellas County : 1 ♀ (abdomen only) St. Petersburg , 4.iv.1938 (DeLong) ( USNM, dry mounted). – Maryland: several adults, Beltsville , 14.vi.1914, Persicaria lapathifolia (W.L. McAtee) ( NHMB, USNM, dry mounted). – Michigan: 4 ♂, 3 ♀, Keweenaw Co. , Copper Harbor , 13.vi.1995 (D. Burckhardt) ( MHNG, dry and slide mounted). – Ohio: 1 ♂, 1 ♂ (abdomen only), 1 ♀ paratypes of Aphalara persicaria , 12 immatures, Pickway Co. , vii–viii.1936 (J.S. Caldwell) ( USNM, dry and slide mounted). – Virginia: 3 ♀, Madison Co. , Oak Park, 7–10.viii.1988 (D. Burckhardt) ( MHNG, dry mounted) .

Diagnosis. Adult. Head and thorax orange to light brown with whitish to yellowish pattern. Forewing membrane semitransparent, colorless or imperceptibly tinged with yellow with brown apex of Cu 1b and apical part of clavus. Abdomen dark brown. Clypeus long, tubular, visible in dorsal view. Forewing ( Fig. 14, 17 View Figures 14–27 ) 2.5–2.7 times as long as wide; surface spinules ( Fig. 15, 16, 18, 19 View Figures 14–27 ) fine, forming irregular squares or rhombes; in males often leaving narrow spinule-free stripes along veins, in females covering the entire wing membrane up to veins. Paramere, in lateral view, lamellar, straight, only weakly narrowed in the middle; dorsal margin sclerotized, straight or weakly curved; thumb-like process near antero-apical edge, short, narrow and weakly curved ( Fig. 28, 30, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41 View Figures 28–43 ). Distal segment of aedeagus with straight shaft and inflated apical third that bears an antero-apical hook that is more or less long ( Fig. 29, 31, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42 View Figures 28–43 ). Female terminalia cuneate ( Fig. 32, 43 View Figures 28–43 ). Proctiger, in lateral view, incised distal to circumanal ring, which is strongly expanded caudally; apex narrowly rounded.

Fifth instar immature ( Fig. 20, 21 View Figures 14–27 ). Body 1.6–1.7 times as long as wide. Forewing pads ( Fig. 22, 23 View Figures 14–27 ) narrow, humeral lobes broadly rounded; small lanceolate setae present along margin but not on dorsum. Caudal plate

narrowly rounded; lanceolate setae present along margin ( Fig. 24, 25 View Figures 14–27 ), about as long as distance between them. Outer circumanal ring ( Fig. 26, 27 View Figures 14–27 ) consisting of two pore rows; rounded laterally.

Distribution. Recorded from Cuba and the USA (OH) ( Hodkinson 1988); new for Mexico and parts of the USA (FL, MD, MI, VA) (new records reported here).

Host plants. Persicaria glabra (Willd.) M.Gómez, P. lapathifolia (L.) Delarbre, P. maculosa Gray, P. punctata (Elliott) Small ( Polygonaceae ). The single female from Mexico was collected on P. hydropiperoides (Michx.) Small, which is a probable host. The records from Polygonum sp. probably refer to Persicaria sp.

Comments. Aphalara Foerster, 1848 , consists of over 40 Holarctic species, many of which develop on Polygonaceae ( Burckhardt and Lauterer 1997a; Ouvrard 2020). Species often are difficult to identify, as morphological differences between species are small, and intraspecific variation is pronounced. Also host plant ranges sometimes overlap. Unlike the West Palearctic Aphalara species that are fairly well-studied ( Ossiannilsson 1992; Burckhardt and Lauterer 1997a), the North American ones are poorly known. The only comprehensive paper ( Caldwell 1937) is based on limited material with species descriptions that are not diagnostic. Several important characters are not described, such as structures on the head, the surface spinules on the forewings or the aedeagus of adults, as well as the immatures. A comparison with material that was studied by J.S. Caldwell suggests that his drawings of the paramere were not made from a strict lateral view and are, hence, difficult to interpret. A slightly more detailed description of A. persicaria of both adults and immatures was provided by Caldwell (1938a). Currently, 13 species and three varieties are known from the Nearctic region ( Hodkinson 1988). Aphalara persicaria is similar to A. nubifera Patch, 1912, and A. simila Caldwell, 1937, in the surface spinules on the forewings that are arranged in squares or rhombes; in all other described Nearctic species the surface spinules form irregular transverse rows. Aphalara persicaria differs from A. nubifera in the unpatterned forewings (rather than with an indistinct brown transverse band in apical third) that are slightly narrower (forewing length/width ratio in A. persicaria 2.5–2.7, in A. nubifera 2.2–2.3), in the thumb-like process of the paramere that is close to the apex (rather than in apical quarter), in the caudally strongly expanded circumanal ring of the female (rather than with only 3–4 cell rows) and in the host association (Persicaria spp. versus Descurainia pinnata (Walter) Britton [ Brassicaceae ]). From A. simila it differs in the slightly finer surface spinules of the forewing membrane and the caudally strongly expanded circumanal ring of the female, which consists of only two rows in A. simila. Aphalara persicaria currently is known from Cuba and Mexico as well as the eastern and midwestern USA, whereas the other two species have been reported from the western USA and Mexico. The report of A. nubifera var. reducta Caldwell, 1937 , from Maine ( Caldwell 1937; Hodkinson 1988) is doubtful. Caldwell (1937) described this variety based on a single specimen: Holotype female in the Herbert Osborne collection, Ohio State University, with following data: “Me. Ag. Exp. Sta., VI–27–1916.” This suggests that the specimen was donated by Edith M. Patch who worked for the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station in Orono, ME, and is possibly part of the type series of A. nubifera from Ft. Collins, CO.

Caldwell (1937) erected A. persicaria var. cubana Caldwell, 1937 for specimens from Cuba. He indicated that they appear smaller and darker than A. persicaria and possess more obliquely truncate parameres and a less curved female proctiger. The examination of type material of A. persicaria var. cubana showed that these differences are within the variation of A. persicaria from Mexico and the USA (FL, MD, MI, OH, VA). In type material of A. persicaria var. cubana the paramere is slightly rounded apically ( Fig. 28, 30 View Figures 28–43 ), and the apical inflation of the distal segment of the aedeagus bears a short apical hook ( Fig. 29, 31 View Figures 28–43 ), whereas in types of A. persicaria the paramere has subparallel margins and is truncate apically ( Fig. 39 View Figures 28–43 ), and the apical inflation of the distal segment of the aedeagus bears a long apical hook ( Fig. 40 View Figures 28–43 ). Some specimens at hand from Florida bear a characteristic “ cubana - type ” paramere and a “ persicaria - type ” aedeagus ( Fig. 35, 36 View Figures 28–43 ) or vice versa ( Fig. 37, 38 View Figures 28–43 ). In other examined specimens these structures were intermediate between these two types ( Fig. 33, 34, 41, 42 View Figures 28–43 ). Immatures from FL and OH do not significantly differ from each other and correspond to Caldwell’s (1938a) description. We conclude that A. persicaria var. cubana is a synonym of A. persicaria , confirming Hodkinson’s (1988) synonymy.

Craspedolepta Enderlein, 1921

Comments. Craspedolepta is a large Holarctic genus with over 150 described species, of which about two thirds occur in the Palearctic realm, one third in the Nearctic and less than a handful in both. Most of the species develop on Asteraceae ( Ouvrard 2020) . Many Central and Northern European species, generally well diagnosed, are monophagous ( Ossiannilsson 1992; Lauterer and Burckhardt 2004; Burckhardt and Lauterer 2009). Similar, narrow host ranges also can be expected in other regions, but these patterns are blurred by the lack of a sound taxonomic base or by an inadequate concept of “host” (or by both) ( Lauterer and Burckhardt 2004; Burckhardt et al. 2014). The most recent treatment of Nearctic Craspedolepta species is the monograph by Journet and Vickery (1979), listing four species from Florida: C. furcata ( Caldwell, 1936) , C. nota Journet and Vickery, 1979 , C. numerica ( Caldwell, 1941) and C. parvula Journet and Vickery, 1979 . All four records are problematic, as Journet and Vickery’s (1979) descriptions are not diagnostic, and at least some of their “species” contain mixes of multiple species. Moreover, their host information does not help to define the species, as they did not indicate which records are confirmed by the presence of immatures. The use of the terms “primary” and “secondary” host adds to the confusion as these concepts are not defined by the authors.

In the material from Florida at hand, we identified four species, viz. C. bifida ( Caldwell, 1936) , C. euthamiae spec. nov., C. flavida (Caldwell, 1938) and C. furcata . We did not see specimens of C. parvula from Florida. According to Journet and Vickery’s (1979) description, the species keys out in our key with C. flavida from which it differs in the smaller size.

More material, including adults of both sexes and immatures with confirmed host information, is needed to investigate and fully understand the taxonomy of Craspedolepta in Florida.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Natural History Museum Bucharest


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle














Aphalara persicaria Caldwell, 1937

Halbert, Susan E. & Burckhardt, Daniel 2020

Aphalara persicaria

Burckhardt D & Lauterer P. 1997: 305
Burckhardt D & Lauterer P. 1997: 305
Hodkinson ID 1988: 1182
Hodkinson ID 1988: 1182
Caldwell JS 1938: 237
Caldwell JS 1937: 565
Caldwell JS 1937: 565
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