Spruce aphid, Elatobium abietinum (Walker) (Homoptera: Aphididae), is a new invasive pest in the interior southwestern United States. This insect is causing extensive and severe damage on dormant Engelmann spruce, Picea engelmannii Parry, and Colorado blue spruce, P. pungens Engelm., in high elevation forests in late fall and winter.
Spruce aphid was recently introduced to the Pinaleño Mountains of southern Arizona. Potential longer-term effects include changes in forest structure and species composition — primarily through reduction in Engelmann spruce dominance in spruce-fir and mixed-conifer forests. The aphid also would impact Mount Graham Red Squirrel food resources, cache sites, and general habitat requirements.
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