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This user-friendly database of N.Z. aphids should significantly improve the quality of data for management of aphid biodiversity and biosecurity.


Teulon, D.A.J., Till, C.M., Bennett, S.J., Green, O.R., Flynn, A.R., Henderson, R.C., Larivière, M.-C., Maw, H.E.L., Foottit, R. G., 2010: TFBIS funded specimen information – Aphids.

Project Leader: David Teulon
Portfolio Manager, Bioprotection
Gerald Street, Lincoln
Private Bag 4704, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand

Project team

  • Plant & Food Research, Lincoln, New Zealand (Lead Agency)
    Bioprotection Portfolio. Dr David A.J. Teulon (entomologist and project leader), Ms Stacey Skill (entomologist), Ms Corina Till (entomologist), and Mr Callum Fletcher (technician).
  • Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
    Canadian National Collection of Insects. Dr Robert Foottit (research scientist and systematist) and Mr Eric Maw (technician and curator).
  • Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand
    New Zealand Arthropod Collection. Dr Marie-Claude Larivière, curator of Hemiptera; Dr Birgit E. Rhode, specimen database curator; Dr Trevor K. Crosby, databases & IT project leader.
  • MAF Biosecurity New Zealand, Investigation and Diagnostic Centre, Auckland.
    Plant Health and Environment Laboratory. Mr Alan Flynn, Entomology Team Manager; Mrs Olwyn Green (PANZ Auckland) and Ms Carol Muir (PCNZ Christchurch) curators of invertebrates; Mr Shaun Bennett Entomology team member.


The purpose of this TFBIS (Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information Systems)-funded project for databasing specimen records of aphids in New Zealand is to:

  • provide internet access to previously unavailable information (locked in physical insect collections and field notebooks);
  • improve data on native species of N.Z. aphids, e.g., nomenclature, distribution, and biology;
  • provide data on adventive (introduced) aphids occurring in natural ecosystems, including viral plant disease vectors;
  • ensure that information on aphids is managed more cohesively by bringing together information and data from 12 separate institutions;
  • fill important knowledge gaps on native (including threatened or undescribed) and adventive (introduced) species;
  • provide rapid and wide access to this information.


New Zealand native aphids are poorly documented, appear to be rare and may be threatened by adventive (exotic) aphids – also poorly documented – and natural enemies.

Native aphids are ecologically important. They are found on plants bordering natural and productive systems and are a significant component of the New Zealand insect fauna and world aphid fauna.

Adventive aphids (over 100 species) account for the majority of the New Zealand aphid fauna. Eighteen native species are currently known but a lack of taxonomic expertise in New Zealand is a major barrier to the correct identification or scientific description of as-yet undetermined species that are continually being recorded, and to the inclusion of aphids in the national biodiversity inventory.

About 25% of adventive aphids (30 species or so) occur on a wide range of indigenous plant families and a number are known vectors of plant viruses. There is also evidence of native aphids being displaced on their host plants by adventive species.

The database consolidates data from several organisations and other sources to provide information about N.Z. aphids for a range of end-users. It provides the essential taxonomic and distribution data to underpin ongoing and future taxonomic initiatives, e.g., LUCID keys for rapid morphological identification, and DNA barcoding for accurate identification of cryptic species and for species mapping.

This user-friendly database of N.Z. aphids should significantly improve the quality of data for management of aphid biodiversity and biosecurity.

Links to specimen information for different collections

These specimen records are provided on the understanding that the names with specimens reflect the curation status of individual collections up to 2010. Aphid specialist Dr Robert Foottit and curator Mr Eric Maw (Canadian National Collection, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa) contributed to data validation. Any queries should be directed to the curator providing the information or who is responsible for the invertebrate collection.

Summary of aphid slide material found in New Zealand insect collections (includes some specimens collected from overseas) and New Zealand aphid slide material in overseas insect collections.

Insect collection


Number of slides (1)

Number of database entries

New Zealand collections

N.Z. Arthropod Collection (NZAC)

Landcare Research, Auckland, N.Z.



Plant Health Christchurch N.Z. (PCNZ)

MAF BNZ, Russley, Christchurch, N.Z.



Plant Health Auckland N.Z. (PANZ)

MAF BNZ, Auckland, N.Z.



AsureQuality (AQNZ)

Auckland, N.Z.



Plant & Food Research (PFNZ)

Lincoln, N.Z.



Scion (FRNZ)

Rotorua, N.Z.



Te Papa (MONZ)

Wellington, N.Z.



Lincoln University (LUNZ)

Lincoln, N.Z.



International collections

Canadian National Collection (CNC)

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Ottawa, Canada

2268 (2)

(724) (3)



Natural History Museum (BNHM)

London, United Kingdom



Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC)

CSIRO, Canberra, Australia



Essig collection (EMEC)

Berkeley, California



Total (all collections)




(1) Actual number of entries in database are lower as only slides of aphids found in New Zealand are included
(2) Slides to be returned to New Zealand collections
(3) Slides mounted from NZAC ethanol-stored collections

The most recent publication on N.Z. aphids listed 120 species (including 12 native species) (Teulon & Stufkens 2002. N.Z. Plant Protection 55: 12). Our current estimate, based on the work preparing this database, is that there is evidence for 147 aphid species (plus 4 adelgids and 3 phylloxerids) recorded in New Zealand. However, the records for several species need to be checked further. At least 18 species appear to be native to New Zealand.

General information on database

Information provided in the database has been primarily gained from microscope slide text.  Latitudes and longitudes (decimal degrees) and Crosby code localities were often inferred from the slide text data information and may not represent the exact collection location. A question mark “?” beside any annotation implies some uncertainty as to the accuracy of the information. An asterisk “*” indicates that additional information has been added from alternative sources (e.g., collectors field notes) that is not found on the microscope slide.  In general, more effort went into validating data for native aphids. Whether a species is native or not is indicated in the right hand column of each spreadsheet. Information on adventive aphids (the majority of species found in the database) is mostly indicative and does not represent a complete validated checklist. The collections lists should therefore be used with caution especially when inferring presence / absence and host associations.


This project was funded by the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) Programme and from ‘in-kind’ support from Plant & Food Research and Landcare Research. Additionally, the project could not have succeeded without significant ‘in-kind’ support from Dr Robert Foottit (AgCanada).

We thank Alan White, the TFBIS programme manager, for continued support throughout this 3-year project.

In addition to the insect curators/collection managers mentioned in the project team, we also thank Jon Martin (BNHM), Carol Muir (PCNZ), Phil Sirvid (Te Papa), Stephanie Sopow (Scion), John Marris (Lincoln University), and John Keall (AsureNZ) for providing us with records from their collections.

Raphael Didham (formerly University of Canterbury) and Barbara Barrett (AgResearch) kindly loaned us material from their aphid collections. Marlon Stufkens provided us with accurate GIS co-ordinates for many native aphid collection sites.