Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Legless aphid collection

I am at the Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign, IL this week. I am working with Dave Voegtlin and he is helping learn how to identify aphids. It's a mighty task, as there are hundreds of species in North America. Iowa regularly traps over 60 species each year. I am hoping to learn how to identify the common species found in our field crops. So I began sorting stored vials and using a few references, and then began slide mounting some individuals. It's probably not a surprise that it is tedious, slow-moving and highly repetitious work. Most of my slides having lots of missing body parts. So far it's a great legless aphid collection!

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