Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Biology and evolution of Adelgidae.

Abstract

The Adelgidae form a small clade of insects within the Aphidoidea (Hemiptera) that includes some of the most destructive introduced pest species threatening North American forest ecosystems. Despite their importance, little is known about their evolutionary history and their taxonomy remains unresolved. Adelgids are cyclically parthenogenetic and exhibit multigeneration complex life cycles. They can be holocyclic, with a sexual generation and host alternation, or anholocyclic, entirely asexual and without host alternation. We discuss adelgid behaviour and ecology, emphasizing plant-insect interactions, and we explore ways that the biogeographic history of their host plants may have affected adelgid phylogeny and evolution of adelgid life cycles. Finally, we highlight several areas in which additional research into speciation, population genetics, multitrophic interactions, and life history evolution would improve our understanding of adelgid biology and evolution.