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• Synthesis in Sternorrhyncha Systematics

The full program for the symposium, Synthesis in Sternorrhyncha Systematics, has now been approved! The symposium will take place at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida, the afternoon of September 29. It will bring together systematists working at all different levels (fossils, morphology, phylogenetics, speciation, and more) on all four groups of Sternorrhyncha (aphids, psyllids, scale insects, whiteflies).

OBJECTIVES and DESCRIPTION Various Sternorrhyncha taxa are important research models for speciation and host-parasite-associated evolution (both plant-insect and insect-endosymbiont), display interesting biological phenomena such as host alternation and polyphenism, and are among the most important crop pests, especially as vectors of plant diseases. Many insect systematists associate at the ordinal or other higher taxonomic level, e.g., the International Society of Hymenopterists, the International Heteropterists’ Society, and the North American Dipterists’ Society. In contrast, systematists working on Sternorrhyncha have tended to aggregate at lower taxonomic levels: e.g., the International Symposium on Aphids and the International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies. The proposed symposium seeks to assemble systematists to share the latest scientific developments in the four major Sternorrhyncha taxa. We will cross the taxonomic borders of our respective groups, exchange ideas, and develop synergies for addressing evolutionary and systematic questions that encompass all the Sternorrhyncha. An explicit aim of the symposium will be to publish a review paper describing the past, present, and future of Sternorrhyncha systematics.

Keynote talks bracketing the symposium will present the systematics, evolution, and fossil history of the Sternorrhyncha. Other oral presentations will highlight the current systematic knowledge of the four major Sternorrhyncha taxa, aphids, psyllids, scale insects, and whiteflies, including their evolution, phylogeny, and classification. Posters will present more focused topics.