Host Associations and Incidence of Diuraphis spp. in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States, and Pictorial Key for Their Identification

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The Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia Kurdjumov, is an introduced species first identified in 1986 into the United States. It has since become a major pest of wheat, Triticum aestivum L., and other small grains in the western United States. Three other Diuraphis species, Diuraphis frequens (Walker), Diuraphis mexicana (McVicar Baker), and Diuraphis tritici (Gillette), were already endemic to the United States before the introduction of D. noxia. The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence and host associations of these four Diuraphis spp. in the Rocky Mountain region that borders the western Great Plains to better understand their distribution and ecological interactions. In addition, a key to these species with photographs of live or fresh preparations of specimens is presented to aid in their identification. D. noxia was the most widely distributed species in the study area spanning the Rocky Mountain areas of Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. This species was most common in the cereal-producing areas of the Colorado Plateau ecoregion. D. frequens was found to be the predominant species in the Alpine/Aspen Mountain areas of the South Central Rockies and Colorado Rockies ecoregions. The other Diuraphis species were rarely encountered even though their plant hosts occurred in the ecoregions sampled. D. noxia shared common hosts and was found co-infesting grasses with other Diuraphis species. Therefore, the potential exists for D. noxia to impact the other native Diuraphis species.

Keywords: Diuraphis frequens; Diuraphis mexicana; Diuraphis noxia; Diuraphis tritici; invasive species

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2010

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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