InfluentialPoints.com
Biology, images, analysis, design...
Aphids Find them How to ID AphidBlog
"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important" (Sherlock Holmes)

 

 

Genus Aphis

These are very small to rather large aphids with a body that is broadly oval in shape and never very elongate. The dorsal body cuticle is membranous with a variable amount of dark sclerotic markings. Marginal tubercles are almost always present on the pronotum and on abdominal segments. The siphunculi are more or less cylindrical or tapering, never distinctly swollen. The cauda is finger shaped, tongue shaped or bluntly subtriangular. The legs are variably pigmented, but rarely entirely dark.

There are about 500 species in the Aphis genus. Most species are have a sexual stage in the life cycle and pass the winter in the egg stage. Others reproduce parthenogenetically all year round especially in warmer climates. Aphis species feed on a great variety of different plants, but never on sedges (Cyperaceae) and very rarely on grasses (Poaceae). Some species alternate hosts seasonally between a woody primary host and a herbaceous summer host. But many species do not host alternate, instead spending the complete life cycle on one species of plant. Aphis species are frequently ant attended and many are important crop pests.

 

Aphis armata (Foxglove aphid)

The apterae are black. Immatures often have discrete wax spots, but apterae rarely have such spots. The middle abdominal tergites in apterae are usually without dark sclerotic bands. The only reliable characteristic to differentiate the species from Aphis fabae  is that the oviparae have hardly any swelling of the hind tibiae, whilst in Aphis fabae the oviparae have the hind tibiae strongly swollen. The body length of apterae is 2.2-2.9 mm.

 

The foxglove aphid does not host alternate. It only feeds on foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). Sexual forms occur in autumn. The species has been found in several countries in Europe, but is probably under-recorded because of difficulties in identification. Other members of the Aphis fabae complex also feed on foxglove and can only be distinguished morphologically at the ovipara stage - which is not present for most of the year.

Read more... 

 

Aphis ballotae (Horehound aphid)

Apterae of Aphis ballotae are dark grey-blue to mottled green. Their dorsum is membranous, sometimes with a small postsiphuncular sclerite. The siphunculi are black, and 1.33-1.95 times as long as the dark finger-shaped cauda.. The body length is 1.0-2.0 mm. Aphis ballotae is a member of the Aphis frangulae  complex, difficult to distinguish from other members except by biology and host plant.

 

The alate Aphis ballotaehas rather large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, short bars across tergites 7-8 and usually a conspicuous rather squarish sclerite on tergite 6 between the siphunculi.

Aphis ballotae lives on the stems and undersides of leaves of Ballota spp. especially Ballota nigra (horehound) causing slight downward leaf-curl in early summer. It does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn and the males are alate. The horehound aphid is found throughout Europe (except Scandinavia), and eastward to Crimea, Iran and Turkey.

Read more... 

 

Aphis brunellae (Self-heal aphid)

Apterae of Aphis brunellae are pale yellow, sometimes with a mid-dorsal suffusion of dark green. They are not wax powdered. In small specimens (body length less than 1.2 mm) the number of antennal segments may be reduced from 6 to 5. The abdominal dorsum is membranous with little or no sclerotic banding. The hairs on the anterior surface of the femora are shorter than the least width of the tibia. The siphunculi are dusky or dark and are 0.92 -1.90 times the length of the pale cauda. The body length of Aphis brunellae apterae is 0.98-1.45 mm.

 

Aphis brunellae lives up the stems or hidden among the flower bracts of self-heal (Prunella vulgaris). It is attended by ants - the colony we found had been tented over with soil particles. It does not host alternate and sexual forms appear in autumn. The self-heal aphid is rare in Britain, being previously only recorded from Buckingham and Cambridge, but now also known from East Sussex. Aphis brunellae is widespread in Europe and western Siberia.

 

Aphis callunae (Heather aphid)

This is a small rather stout dark brown aphid which appears pinkish because of the powdering of wax. Blackman describes the immatures as 'greenish' in life, but we have found them to be reddish brown (see below). The dorsal cuticle is strongly reticulate. The abdominal tergites are usually only banded on tergites 7-8. The siphunculi are very short. The body length of apterae is about 1.7 times the body width (live specimens), with an absolute body length of 1.0-1.4 mm.

 

The heather aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on heather (Calluna vulgaris and is reported to live on old straggling plants typical of woodland clearings and margins. It is found over much of western, northern & central Europe, and has also been recorded from Canada.

Read more... 

 

Aphis chloris (St John's wort aphid)

Aphis chloris (St John's wort aphid, Hypericum aphid) is rather bright green, pale yellow-green or dark green and is a member of Aphis frangula group. It has dark siphunculi but a rather pale cauda. The abdominal dorsum is usually entirely membranous with few if any sclerotized areas. Trochantral hairs are short and all femoral hairs are much shorter than the least tibial width. The body length of Aphis chloris apterae is 1.0-1.8 mm. The alate has dusky marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bands across tergites 7-8 or 6-8.

There are taxonomic problems surrounding this aphid. Stroyan (1984)  provided a detailed description of Aphis chloris and stated that it lived in ant-attended colonies at stem bases of Hypericum perforatum just below the soil surface or occasionally on aerial parts. But he noted another 'as yet undescribed' species found several times on Hypericum androsaemum and Hypericum calycinum which differed from Aphis chloris in having longer trochantral hairs. Blackman covers the undescribed species as 'Aphis sp. (Stroyan 1984,124)'.

We are awaiting an image of this species...

The St John's Wort aphid does not host alternate. It lives on Hypericum spp. especially St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum).

 

Aphis commensalis (Waxy buckthorn aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis commensalis are darkish grey-green with a heavy greyish wax coating (see first picture below). The abdominal dorsum has no pigmented sclerites except for faint narrow bands across tergites 7-8. Small marginal tubercles are present on the first and seventh abdominal tergites. Hairs on the tibiae are long and fine, the longest on the hind tibia being 1.7-2.4 times the least width of the tibia. The dusky siphunculi are rather short being only 0.9-1.2 times as long as the cauda. The cauda is short and blunt. Body length of the adult Aphis commensalis aptera is 0.9-1.7 mm.

 

Images copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserved.

The waxy buckthorn aphid lives on purging buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). Early generations cause leaf curl galls on the young foliage of its host as shown in the second picture above. From midsummer onwards they are found in abandoned leaf-edge fold galls of the psyllid Trichochermes walkeri. Apterous males and oviparae occur in October, and eggs are laid within the psyllid gall. Aphis commensalis is a rare species in Britain, known only from Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire. Elsewhere in Europe it is found in Germany, Poland, Austria and Russia.

 

Aphis coronillae (Trefoil aphid)

The aptera of Aphis coronillae is dark brown to brownish green with a shiny black dorsal shield and no wax powdering. The shield extends over segments 1-6 inclusive, but is weakened by membranous lines between some of the anterior segments. The shield is reticulate, a feature which is only conspicuous in slide mounted specimens. Abdominal tergites 1-4 and 7 regularly bear very protuberant, dome-shaped marginal tubercles. Nearly all the hairs on the legs are very short. The body length of adult Aphis coronillae apterae is 1.3-2.2 mm.

 

Aphis coronillae alatae have 3-9 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and 0-2 on segment IV.

Aphis coronillae lives on the basal parts of certain Leguminosae / Fabaceae, especially clovers (Trifolium) and trefoils (Medicago). It does not host alternate. Sexual forms appear in September. The males are mostly apterous, but are occasionally brachypterous or alate. Aphis coronillae is usually attended by and sheltered by ants. It is widely distributed in Europe, and is also found in west Siberia.

 

Aphis craccivora (Cowpea aphid)

The apterae of Aphis craccivora is dark brown with (usually) a very solid black shiny carapace from the metanotum to abdominal tergites 6. Many North American and a few southern European Aphis craccivora populations have a reduced sclerotic shield. Their siphunculi very rarely have any trace of constriction before the flange, and are 1.17-2.18 times the length of the rather tapering cauda. The body length is 1.16-2.3 mm.

 

Aphis craccivora alatae have the dorsal shield broken up into segmental bands with large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites. Immatures are lightly dusted in wax.

Aphis craccivora prefers plants in the Fabaceae (beans, peas and groundnuts), but it is highly polyphagous and has been found on many plant species. It feeds on the young shoots, leaves, flowers and fruits, and is strongly ant attended. In most places reproduction is entirely parthenogenetic with no sexual stage in the life cycle, but sexual morphs have been recorded from Germany and India. It is a vector of several viruses including broad bean mosaic virus, cucumber mosaic virus and groundnut rosette virus. The cowpea aphid has a cosmopolitan distribution. Aphis craccivora is not very common in cool temperate countries, but can be abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.

Read more... 

 

Aphis crepidis (Hawk's-beard root aphid)

Aphis crepidis apterae are dark bluish-green to yellow-green, and are not wax powdered.

 

The dorsum of Aphis crepidis is membranous apart from a rather faint short dusky spinal bar on tergite 8, and marginal tubercles are prominent. The femora and proximal tibial hairs are shorter than the least width of the tibia. The siphunculi are dark and the cauda is dusky. The body length of Aphis crepidis is 1.2-2.0 mm. Aphis crepidis is very closely related to, and is morphologically indistinguishable from, Aphis taraxacicola (which feeds on dandelion not hawk's-beard).

The hawk's-beard root aphid lives in ant shelters at the base of Crepis biennis and Crepis capillaris. It does not host alternate and sexual forms have been found in September. It is very little known in Britain, but has recently been found in Wales and East Sussex. Aphis crepidis is found throughout Europe, apart from the north, and extends into Iran .

Read more... 

 

Aphis cytisorum sarothamni (Broom aphid) & Aphis cytisorum cytisorum (Laburnum aphid)

Aphis cytisorum is a very dark green aphid which appears greyish because of the strong wax secretion. The siphunculi and cauda are dark, but the antennae and tibiae are mostly pale. The body length of apterae is 1.4-2.5 mm.

There are two subspecies of Aphis cytisorum: The first image below is Aphis cytisorum cytisorum (laburnum aphid), feeding on laburnum. The second image below is Aphis cytisorum sarothamni (broom aphid), feeding on broom.

 

The only morphometric difference between these two subspecies is that the oviparae of ssp. sarothamni have more swollen hind tibiae with many more scent plaques than ssp. cytisorum.

Aphis cytisorum is one of three 'black-backed' Aphis species living on woody Fabaceae (the other two are Aphis craccae and Aphis craccivora ). The adult aptera has a dark sclerotized dorsal abdominal shield. There are areas of membranous cuticle along the side bounded by the mid-dorsal shield and the intersegmental muscle sclerites. Marginal tubercles may be present. The siphunculi are 1.2 to 2.2 times as long as the cauda.

Aphis cytisorum does not host alternate. The laburnum aphid (Aphis cytisorum cytisorum) lives on the leaves, stems and seed pods of laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides or Spanish broom (Spartium junceum). The broom aphid (Aphis cytisorum sarothamni) lives on broom (Cytisus scoparius). Both subspecies are usually ant attended. Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis cytisorum is found throughout most of Europe eastward to Russia and Turkey. It is also found in North Africa, China, North America and parts of South America.

Read more... 

 

Aphis epilobiaria (Waxy willowherb aphid)

Aphis epilobiaria is a reddish-brown to blackish-brown or blackish green aphid. The colour is mostly masked by a striking of dense pleural wax bands. These converge on the thorax and posterior tergites to occupy most of the width of the dorsum, leaving a spindle-shaped area of the mid-dorsum without wax. The siphunculi are usually quite pale, sometimes a little dusky. The cauda is quite dark. The body length of apterae is 2.2-2.7 mm.

 

We cannot be absolutely certain about the identity of the aphids in this picture. Although the heavy wax deposits strongly suggest Aphis epilobiaria, microscopic examination of the second tarsal joint did reveal it to be especially smooth, the only sure way to distinguish the species from Aphis epilobii.

The waxy willowherb aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on the shoot and flowers of the great willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum spp.) and on other Epilobium species including hoary willowherb Epilobium parviflorum. It is not usually ant attended. It is known from Britain and a few western European countries.

Read more... 

 

Aphis epilobii (Willowherb aphid)

Aphis epilobii is a blackish-green to reddish-brown aphid which appears dark-grey to pinkish-brown because of the rather uniform powdering of wax (see pictures below). The siphunculi and basal parts of the antennae are pale but the cauda is dusky or dark. The body length of apterae is 1.3-2.1 mm.

 

The abdominal dorsum of Aphis epilobii is membranous with only a dusky narrow band across tergite 8 and sometimes 7. The siphunculi are 1-1.6 times the length of the cauda. There are small conical marginal tubercles on tergites 1 and 7, but not on tergites 2-6. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.3-1.6 times the length of segment II of the hind tarsus. The latter two characteristics distinguish it from the closely related Aphis grossulariae.

The willowherb aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on broad-leaved willowherb (Epilobium montanum spp.) or more rarely other Epilobium species. It is not usually ant attended. It is widely distributed throughout Europe.

Read more... 

 

Aphis euonymi (Spindle aphid)

A reddish- to chocolate-brown aphid often with transverse bars of wax dust on anterior abdominal tergites. The dorsum usually has broad dark sclerotic bands across the pro- and mesonotum, and narrower ones across abdominal tergites 7-8. The middle and hind femora are mostly dark and tibiae are darkened on the apical quarter. The body length of apterae is 1.7-2.9 mm.

The spindle aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on spindle (Euonymus europaeus). It occurs in several European countries.

 

Aphis euphorbiae (Spurge aphid)

Aphis euphorbiae apterae are dark blackish brown and are rather strongly wax powdered. They have a dark dorsal shield (clearly visible in the first picture below) which is confined to a rather rectangular mid-dorsal area. The cauda is rather slender and tapering. Marginal tubercles are protuberant and often present on abdominal tergite 6. Aphis euphorbiae body length is 1.7-2.1 mm.

 

Guest images copyright Jivko Nakev, all rights reserved

Alates have short bands across abdominal tergites 6-8 as well as marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites. Most of the rest of the dorsum is membranous.

Aphis euphorbiae feeds on the upper parts of the stems of Euphorbia cyparissias and a few other Euphorbia species where it is usually ant attended (see second picture above). It is usually assumed that the species produces sexual forms in autumn, but such forms have apparently not yet been described. Reproduction may therefore be entirely parthenogenetic. The spurge aphid is hardly known in Britain, but is found throughout mainland Europe, the Mediterranean basin, Africa, and South-west and Central Asia. Aphis euphorbiae has been accidentally introduced to Australia and North America.

Read more... 

 

Aphis fabae (Black Bean aphid)

A black or very dark brown species with a variable abdominal sclerotic pattern - confined to abdominal tergites 6-8 in smaller apterae but broken bands present in larger ones. The siphunculi and cauda are dark. The antennae have joints of III-IV and base of V usually quite pale. Marginal tubercles are protuberant but small. The longest femoral and tibial hairs are longer than the least width of tibiae. Apterae (see second picture below) often, and immatures (see first picture below) very often, have discrete white wax spots. The body length of apterae is 1.2-2.9 mm.

   

The black bean aphid host alternates between spindle (Euonymus europaeus) as the primary host and many herbaceous plant species as secondary hosts. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It is found throughout the northern continents, and has been introduced to many tropical and subtropical countries where it may reproduce parthenogenetically all year round. In Europe there is a complex of sibling species or subspecies which can only be distinguished by their choice of secondary host coupled with transfer experiments.

 

The nominate subspecies Aphis fabae fabae migrates to both broad beans (Vicia faba) (pictured above first) and poppies (Papaver spp.)(pictured above second) as well as Chenopodium spp. and beet (Beta vulgaris). It will not colonise thistle (Cirsium) or black nightshade (Solanum).

 

Aphis fabae cirsiiacanthoidis migrates to thistle (Cirsium arvense) (pictured above first) and A.f. mordvilkoi to burdock (Arctium) (pictured above second). The fourth subspecies is A.f. solanella which migrates to black nightshade (Solanum nigrum).

Although one can tentatively assign Aphis fabae on the plants above to a particular subspecies, they also colonise a huge range of other plants (for example many umbellifers) which are not associated with a particular subspecies. Also some hosts such as docks (Rumex spp) seem to be acceptable to all subspecies. Lastly (just to confuse things further) what was called Aphis euonymi has now been renamed A.f. evonymi, and A.f. solanella has been renamed as A. solanella.

 

Aphis farinosa (Small Willow aphid)

A small mottled green and yellow-orange species with the abdominal dorsum entirely membranous or with at most a narrow band across tergite 8. Siphunculi are pale usually with a dusky tip. The cauda is about as dark as the tibial apices. The pigmentation of legs and antennae is variable. The alates are dark green and their siphunculi are more or less dusky. The oviparae are dull green and the apterous males are reddish orange.

 

The small willow aphid is fairly common in dense colonies on the young shoots of Willows (Salix spp.) especially sallow (= goat willow) (Salix caprea) in spring and early summer. They do not host alternate and are attended by ants. They have a sexual stage in the life cycle with oviparae and males appearing from July onwards, although occasionally populations of viviparae persist until August or September. The species occurs throughout northern temperate parts of the world (North America, Europe & Asia) and in South America (Argentina).

Read more... 

 

Aphis frangulae (Alder buckthorn - willowherb aphid)

Apterae are generally dark green or blue-green with dusky siphunculi. The abdominal sclerotic pattern is variable - it is usually confined to abdominal tergites 6-8 in smaller apterae, but broken bands are present in larger ones. The body length of apterae is 0.9-2.1 mm.

The nominate subspecies of the alder buckthorn aphid alternates between alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula = Frangula alnus) as the primary host and rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium) as the secondary host. Other subspecies (A.f. beccabungae and A.f. testacea) have different summer hosts or are monoecious. Sexual forms occur in autumn. The closely related A. gossypii (cotton aphid) is a cosmopolitan polyphagous pest of warm climates and is a greenhouse pest in cooler climates.

 

Aphis gossypii (Melon aphid, Cotton aphid)

Wingless females of Aphis gossypii vary in size and colour depending on conditions. In cool favourable conditions they are medium-sized and blackish green or green mottled with dark green. In hot conditions or when crowded they are smaller and are a very pale whitish yellow. Most commonly they are light green mottled with darker green. The dorsum has no dark sclerotized markings. The siphunculi are dark. The cauda is usually paler than the siphunculi and bears 4-8 hairs. The body length of apterae ranges from 0.9-1.8 mm. The alates have 6-12 secondary rhinaria distributed on the third antennal segment and usually none on the fourth.

 

Marginal tubercles are only consistently present on abdominal tergites 1 and 7. The longest hairs on the third antennal segment are 0.3-0.5 times the basal diameter of that segment. The terminal process of the last antennal segment is 1.7-3.2 times the length of the base of that segment. The apical segment of the rostrum is 1.1 to 1.5 times the length of segment 2 of the hind tarsus.

The melon or cotton aphid is highly polyphagous and does not usually host alternate, reproducing all year round on its chosen host. In temperate climates it is most often seen in glasshouses on cucurbits (cucumbers and marrows) and begonias, and in gardens on ornamental Hypericum species. In the tropics it is a major pest of cotton. It is distributed almost worldwide, and is particularly abundant in the tropics.

Read more... 

 

Aphis grossulariae (Gooseberry - willowherb aphid)

A dull green to dark green species which is moderately wax powdered. The species has the abdominal dorsum entirely membranous or with at most narrow dusky bands across tergites 7 & 8. The siphunculi and legs are pale except for the tibial apices and tarsi which are dusky. The antennae are shorter than the body. The body length of apterae is 1.2-2.1 mm.

 

The species is closely related, and very similar to, another species Aphis schneideri that mainly occurs in blackcurrant. In Aphis grossulariae the hairs on the third antennal segment are straight or curved, and are mostly directed apically at various angles. In Aphis schneideri the antennal hairs are fine and wavy and conspicuously erect. In Europe there is evidence of natural hybridisation with Aphis schneideri.

The gooseberry - willowherb aphid host alternates between gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa) where it curls the leaves and willowherb (Epilobium spp.). Sexual forms occur in autumn. It occurs throughout most of Europe to Russia and central Asia.

Read more... 

 

Aphis hederae (Ivy aphid)

The aptera of Aphis hederae is dark brown although immatures are paler. They are usually not pulverulent, although the immatures here appear to have a wax 'bloom'. The abdominal sclerotic pattern is mostly confined to a band on abdominal tergites 6-8. The body length of apterae is 1.4-2.5 mm. The alate (shown below right) has strong transverse dark bands on most tergites.

 

The ivy aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on ivy (Hedera helix) living on the young shoots and foliage (Stroyan, 1984 ) . It can also be found on various house plants in the Araliaceae such a Fatsia and Schefflera. Sexual forms occur in autumn with apterous or alate males. It occurs throughout Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia. It is also recorded from North America, South Africa and New Zealand.

Read more... 

 

Aphis hypochoeridis (Cats ear root aphid)

Apterae of Aphis hypochoeridis are bright yellow to pale greenish yellow. The abdominal dorsum is entirely pale (see first picture below) or with dusky bands across tergites 7-8 only. The siphunculi are dark. They are 3.5-7.1 times their midlength diameters, and 0.9 to 1.6 times the length of the elongated pale or dusky finger-shaped cauda. The body length of Aphis hypochoeridis is 0.7-1.6 mm.

 

The Aphis hypochoeridis alate (see second picture above) has marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, dusky bands on tergites 7-8, and median sclerites on a variable number of tergites 1-6.

The cat's-ear root aphid lives on the root collar, the underside of radical leaves and up the lower part of the stem of Hypochaeris radicata (Cat's Ear). Aphis hypochoeridis do not host alternate. They have a sexual stage in the life cycle with oviparae and males appearing in autumn. They are usually 'tented over' (with earth) by Myrmica or Lasius ants (see below). Aphis hypochoeridis is widely distributed in Britain and throughout Europe.

Read more... 

 

Aphis idaei (Small raspberry aphid)

Viviparous apterae and alatae are small mottled green and yellow aphids with a rather even wax pulverulence giving an overall pale green colour. The abdominal dorsum in apterae is quite pale. The species is characterized by the combination of long very slender dusky siphunculi and a short thick blunt cauda. In apterae the siphunculi are 2.4-3.3 times the length of the cauda in apterae and 2.1-2.7 times in alates. In midsummer the progeny develop into dwarf apterae which live dispersed between the veins of the underside of the leaves. The body length of apterae is only 1.3-2.2 mm (dwarfs 0.8-0.9 mm).

 

Winged individuals (see pictures above) have dark marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bands across tergites 7-8, and the siphunculi are 2.1-2.7 times the length of the cauda. The body length of alatae is 1.5-1.9 mm.

The small raspberry aphid does not host alternate. It only feeds on raspberry (Rubus idaeus) causing strong leaf curl in early summer. It can cause damage to raspberry canes. Sexual forms occur in autumn with apterous males. It occurs through most of Europe, west Siberia and in New Zealand and North America.

 

Aphis ilicis (Holly aphid)

The apterae are reddish-brown or greyish-brown and immatures often have wax spots. In smaller apterae the abdominal sclerotic pattern is confined to a band on abdominal tergites 6-8, but in larger apterae other broken bands are also present. All body and appendage hairs are very long and finely produced at the apex. The body length of apterae is 1.8-2.9 mm.

 

The holly aphid lives in dense colonies on young shoots and undersides of young leaves of Holly Ilex aquifolium. Attacked leaves curl towards their undersides. Most often found on holly bushes that have been cut back and produced large amounts of new young foliage. Aphis ilicis apparently does not host alternate, although it is unclear how colonies survive through the summer under natural conditions as mature leaves are not colonised. The holly aphid is not a common aphid, but is widely distributed in western and northern Europe eastward to Turkey.

Read more... 

 

Aphis jacobaeae (Ragwort aphid)

The apterae of Aphis jacobaeae are dark green and are not wax powdered. The thorax has rather extensive dark lateral sclerites, whilst the abdomen has small marginal sclerites on tergites 2-4, small sclerites just behind the siphunculi, dark bands across tergites 7-8, sometimes a small median sclerite on 6, and dark intersegmental muscle sclerites. The alate has a similar pattern but the marginal and post-siphuncular sclerites are larger. The marginal tubercles are prominent. The siphunculi have a conspicuous apical flange. The legs are dark except for the extreme bases of femora. This feature will usually distinguish Aphis jacobaeae from Aphis fabae which also occurs on ragwort, but has pale tibiae. The body length of apterae is 1.8-2.2 mm.

 

The ragwort aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on ragwort (Senecio jacobaeae) living basally or higher on the stem or on the flowers. They are usually attended by ants which may build earth tents over the aphids. The species occurs in western and central Europe and into Russia.

Read more... 

 

Aphis lambersi (Wild carrot root aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis lambersi are blackish-green, dark mottled green, or (less commonly) purplish brown (see pictures below). Aphis lambersi resembles (but is not especially closely related to) other dark green species such as Aphis plantaginis and Aphis violae. The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern consists of a dark band across tergites 7-8, small postsiphuncular sclerites and dark intersegmental sclerites. The siphunculi are dark and relatively short being 1.06 - 1.75 times the length of the cauda. The body length of the Aphis lambersi aptera is 1.3 - 2.2 mm.

 

Marginal tubercles are prominent and mostly subconical in shape. Leg hairs are short, mostly much shorter than the least width of the tibiae. Aphis lambersi alates have a similar dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern to the apterae with the addition of marginal sclerites and rudimentary bars on tergites 1-2. The males are apterous and the ovipara has slightly thickened hind tibiae.

Wild carrot root aphids live on the root collar or in basal leaf sheaths of wild carrot (Daucus carota) tented over with soil particles and plant debris by ants (see second picture above). Aphis lambersi is widespread and fairly common in southern England, and throughout Europe.

Read more... 

 

Aphis lantanae (Wayfaring Tree aphid)

The aptera is dark greenish-brown and is not wax-powdered. Larger specimens have dark bands across tergites 6-8 and shorter bars on some or most of the other tergites. The cauda is rather short and bluntly tapering. The body length of apterae is 1.5-2.1 mm. The alate pictured here has similar dark bands across most tergites as well as well developed marginal sclerites.

The wayfaring tree aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana) living in curled leaves, on young stems or under senescing leaves. A local species previously recorded in UK in Kent and Hertford (and now East Sussex) and quite widely in Europe.

Read more... 

 

Aphis longirostris (Sea plantain aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis longirostris (see first picture below) are dark green to dull bluish green and are not wax powdered. The abdominal dorsum is entirely membranous, except sometimes for a faint dusky spinal band on tergite 8. The fused apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.45-1.63 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment, markedly longer than is the case with Aphis plantaginis The siphunculi are 0.94-1.64 times the length of the cauda, somewhat shorter than those of Aphis plantaginis. All the hairs on the legs are shorter than the least width of the hind tibiae, most very much so. The body length of the adult Aphis longirostris aptera is 1.0-1.8 mm.

 

Aphis longirostris alatae were previously unknown, but we have recently (in July 2016) photographed live alatae of Aphis longirostris at Keyhaven salt marshes in Hampshire (see second picture above). They are very dark green with prominent marginal tubercles.

The sea plantain aphid lives on the root collar and radical leaf bases of sea plantain (Plantago maritima) and buck's horn plantain (Plantago coronopus). They do not host alternate, but remain all year on plantain where they are tented over with sand particles by ants. In autumn they produce apterous males and oviparae. They are widely distributed in coastal counties in Britain, but little recorded. Aphis longirostris have been found in several countries in continental Europe, as well as in west Siberia and Central Asia.

Read more... 

 

Aphis nasturtii (Buckthorn - Potato aphid)

The aptera is rather bright pale green to yellowish green and is not wax-powdered. The abdominal dorsum is membranous without dark bands or sclerites. The siphunculi are usually rather pale becoming a little darker towards the apex. The legs are dusky or rather pale. The body length of apterae is 1.1-2.4 mm. The alates have some variably developed dorsal bands but are always more lightly marked than A. frangulae alates.

 

The buckthorn - potato aphid host alternates between common buckthorn (Rhamnus catharticus) as the primary host and many herbaceous plant species as secondary hosts, the most economically important of which is potato (Solanum tuberosum). Sexual forms occur in autumn. It is now of almost world-wide distribution.

Read more... 

 

Aphis ochropus (Yellow teasel aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis ochropus are yellow, yellowish-green or greenish yellow. The terminal process of antennal segment VI is 2.9-3.7 times the length of the base of that segment. The siphunculi are dark and are 2.00-2.86 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is pale (although in some of our specimens it appears dusky) with 7 hairs. The body length of the aptera of Aphis ochropus is 1.2-2.0 mm.

 

The fused terminal segments of the rostrum (RIV+V) are 1.4-1.8 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). Alates of Aphis ochropus have 10-11 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment, and 2-3 rhinaria on the fourth segment.

Aphis ochropus feeds on the basal leaflets and subterranean parts of teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris). It is attended by ants usually Lasius species. The species was first recorded in Britain in south Wales in 2009. Our finding of this species in East Sussex in July 2015 was the first record of the species in England. It is otherwise known mainly from central and eastern Europe.

Read more... 

 

Aphis parietariae (Pellitory-of-the-wall aphid)

The apterae range in colour from dark to light green, with pale yellowish summer dwarfs. The antennal tubercles are weakly developed. The dorsal abdominal pattern is typical of the 'Aphis frangulae group'. The apterae have bands across tergites 7-8 in larger specimens but otherwise unpigmented. The alates have marginal, postsiphuncular and a median sclerite on tergite 6 in addition to the bands on 7 and 8. The siphunculi are dark and are 1.0-1.5 times the length of the cauda, which bears 6-10 hairs. The body length of apterae is 0.9-1.7 mm.

Aphis parietariae (pellitory-of-the-wall aphid) aptera on Parietaria judaica (pellitory-of-the-wall) at East Dean, East Sussex on 15/3/14 at 18.22 h.   Aphis parietariae (pellitory-of-the-wall aphid) colony on, yes - you've guessed it! - Parietaria judaica (pellitory-of-the-wall) at East Dean, East Sussex on 23/3/14 at 18.21 h.

Abdominal tergites 1 and 7 have marginal tubercles.

The pellitory-of-the-wall aphid does not host alternate. It lives in dense colonies on stems, under leaves and on inflorescences of Parietaria spp.. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It is found across Europe as well as in north Africa, and the Middle East.

Read more... 

 

Aphis passeriniana (Sage aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis passeriniana (see first picture below) are mottled dull-green to dark-green in life, with a fairly marked wax bloom. The abdominal dorsum is wholly pale and membranous or, at most, with faint traces of dusky bands across tergites 7-8. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is conspicuously long and the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) is conspicuously short, giving a ratio of 1.54-2.02. Aphis passeriniana siphunculi range from pale to dark (see pictures of apterae below), and are tapering, rather long and stout. The siphunculi are 0.80 - 1.25 times the length of the relatively short and bluntly finger-shaped cauda. Hairs on the legs are rather short, mostly distinctly shorter than the least width of the hind tibiae. The body length of adult apterae ranges from 1.16-1.78 mm

 

The alates (see second picture above) have marginal and (conspicuous) postsiphuncular sclerites and bands across tergites 7-8.

The sage aphid lives up growing shoots, in curled leaves and among the flowers of Salvia species, especially Salvia officinalis (garden sage), but also Salvia splendens (scarlet-flowered sage) and Salvia verticillata (lilac sage). Aphis passeriniana does not host alternate. It is assumed to overwinter as eggs on sage, but sexual forms have not been described. The only previous British record of Aphis passeriniana was in 1955, in the University Botanic Garden in Cambridge, so our record appears to constitute the second known occurrence in Britain. This is mainly a southern European species with records from Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Greece, as well as Iraq and Israel.

 

Aphis picridis (Yellow oxtongue aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis picridis are bright yellow with black siphunculi. The antennal terminal process is more than 2.1 times as long as the base of that segment, and there are no rhinaria on the third or fourth antennal segments. The antennal tubercles are weakly developed and there are marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites 1 and 7. The cauda is tongue shaped. The body length of adult Aphis picridis apterae is 1.1-1.8 mm.

 

The rostrum is unusually long, 0.35-0.38 times the body length, and reaches back beyond the hind coxae. The alatae of Aphis picridis (second picture above) are pale green.

Aphis picridis has not been previously recorded from Britain, so specimens have been sent to the Natural History Museum in London for confirmation. Until we receive that confirmation, our identification should be regarded as provisional.

Aphis picridis is found on the rosette leaves and root collar of oxtongues (Picris spp.) and brighteyes (Reichardia spp.) It does not host alternate. It produces sexual forms in the autumn and overwinters as eggs. It has been recorded from Germany, Poland , Italy, Corsica, Spain & Portugal and now possibly England (see below).

Read more... 

 

Aphis pilosellae (Mouse-ear hawkweed aphid) aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis pilosellae are medium to dark green. Immature aphids are paler (see pictures below). Large apterae have dusky bands across tergites 7-8 or 6-8; small apterae have only faint dusky bars on 7-8. The siphunculi are 0.80 to 1.25 times the length of the cauda, which is tapering with very strongly incurved hairs. The body length of the Aphis pilosellae aptera is 1.02-1.54 mm.

 

The most distinctive character of Aphis pilosellae is the long apical rostral segment which is longer than antennal segment IV or V. The marginal tubercles on abdominal segments 1 and 7 are rather large.

The mouse-ear hawkweed aphid lives under the rosette leaves and on the stolons of mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella). It is sheltered by ants under tents of soil particles. Sexual forms exist, but have not been described. In Britain it seems to be restricted to the south-east, possibly because it needs high sunshine levels. Aphis pilosellae is found throughout Europe and into Russia.

Read more... 

 

Aphis plantaginis (Plantain aphid) aphid)

Adult Aphis plantaginis apterae are dark green, mottled to a greater or lesser extent with pale green. Most authorities describe Aphis plantaginis as not being wax powdered, but we have found the dorsum of both apterae and nymphs may be covered with particulate wax as shown in the first picture below. The terminal process of the antenna is 2.0-2.8 times the length of the base of the sixth antennal segment. The siphunculi are black and 1.62-2.42 times the length of the dusky cauda. The body length of Aphis plantaginis aptera is 1.23-2.04 mm.

 

Their abdominal sclerotic pattern is variable, with the most heavily marked having dark intersegmental muscle sclerites, small marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bars across tergites 7 and 8. Marginal tubercles are rather large, especially in alates.

Aphis plantaginis lives under the rosette leaves and on the root collar of great plantain (Plantago major), hoary plantain (Plantago media) and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata). It does not host alternate. It is usually attended by ants which cover the aphid colony with soil particles. Sexual forms develop in autumn. Aphis plantaginis is widely distributed in southern Britain and throughout most of Europe and into Asia.

 

Aphis pomi (Apple aphid)

The aptera (below first) is bright apple green or yellow green and is not wax-powdered. The abdominal dorsum is pale and membranous usually without dark bands or sclerites. The siphunculi and cauda are conspicuously blackish. The body length of apterae is 1.2-2.2 mm. The alates have some variably developed dorsal bands. Colonies are often attended by ants (below second).

 

The apple aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on Apple (Malus spp.) and related plants including pear (Pyrus), hawthorn (Crataegus), and Cotoneaster. It is distributed throughout Europe, north Africa, Asia eastwards to India and Pakistan, and North America.

Read more... 

 

Aphis praeterita (Hairy willowherb aphid)

Adult Aphis praeterita apterae are lemon yellow to greenish yellow (see two pictures below). Their abdominal dorsum is membranous with little or no sclerotization. The tapering siphunculi are apically dusky and have regular imbrication. They are 1.29-1.95 times the caudal length. The cauda is slightly dusky and finger-shaped. The body length of adult Aphis praeterita apterae is 1.44-2.47 mm.

 

Marginal tubercles are small, those on tergites 1 and 7 being distinctly smaller than the adjacent spiracular plates.

The hairy willowherb aphid does not host alternate, remaining all year on the same host, hairy willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum). They feed on the underside of the leaves and on the growing shoot apices. These aphids are not usually ant attended. In Britain, Aphis praeterita has been recorded in most southern English counties. It is widely distributed in Europe, Central Asia, Pakistan and China - and has been introduced to North America.

 

Aphis ruborum (Bramble aphid)

In early summer apterae are dark blue-green; but in late summer the dwarf apterae are pale yellowish. The abdominal dorsum is mostly pale and membranous. The siphunculi are pale but with dusky bases and apices, and 1.1-2 times the length of the cauda. The antennae and legs are pale. Alates have some pale faint dorsal bands and dark siphunculi. The body length of apterae is 1.1-2.2 mm.

 

The bramble aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on blackberry (Rubus fruticosus). In early summer it lives in dense colonies, is ant attended and causes leaf curl. The summer dwarf apterae live singly between the veins. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It is widely distributed through Europe into central Asia.

Read more... 

 

Aphis rumicis (Dock aphid)

Aphis rumicis apterae are coal-black to very dark greenish-brown. Their antennae are pale near their bases but are darkened from the middle of segment III to their tips. The dorsum typically has well marked bands across tergites 6-8 as well as fragmented bands on tergites 1-5 (these bands are difficult to see in live specimens). The hairs on their hind legs are all much longer than the least width of the tibiae. The black siphunculi are 0.89-1.35 times the length of the black cauda. The body length of Aphis rumicis is 2.05-2.77 mm.

 

The alates normally have a very regular pattern of bands of even width on tergites 1-5 which often extend over most of the width of the tergites. Immature Aphis rumicis do not have the pleural wax spots typical of many 'black' aphids. This last characteristic is one of the easiest ways to distinguish Aphis rumicis from Aphis fabae  which also occurs on Rumex.

The dock aphid feeds on dock (Rumex species) and occasionally on rhubarb (Rheum). It does not host alternate. Sexual forms are produced in autumn. Aphis rumicis rolls and crumples the leaves of its host to form pseudogalls, before later in the year moving up stems and into the inflorescences (this also distinguishes Aphis rumicis from Aphis fabae which does not roll the leaves. Aphis rumicis is usually attended by ants. Note: in the past Aphis rumicis was regularly confused with Aphis fabae and was consequently thought to also feed on beans and many other plants.

Read more... 

 

Aphis salicariae (Dogwood - rosebay willowherb aphid)

The apterae are reddish brown with a marked wax bloom making the aphids appear pinkish. The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern comprises variably complete transverse bands across tergites 6-8 and several other small sclerites. The siphunculi are gently to rather strongly curved outwards, and the cauda is short and bluntly tapering. The body length of apterae is 1.8-2.3 mm.

 

The primary host of the dogwood - rosebay willowherb aphid host is the red-barked dogwood (Cornus alba) where the aphid causes leaf curl and feeds in developing flower umbels. The secondary host is rosebay willowherb (Chamerion (=Epilobium) angustifolium) where the aphid lives in colonies along the midribs of the underside of the leaves. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It is widely distributed through Europe into north-west and central Asia, and has been introduced to and is widespread in North America.

Read more... 

 

Aphis sambuci (Elder aphid)

Aphis sambuci apterae on elder are very variable in colour from dark green through to yellowish brown; on the secondary host they are usually dark green. Adults and immatures often have white waxy stripes across the sides of the abdominal segments. Antennae, siphunculi and legs blackish on the primary host and brownish in root colonies. The cauda is dark and bluntly tapering. The body length of apterae is 2.0-3.5 mm.

 

The elder aphid normally host alternates between elder (Sambucus nigra) in spring where it forms dense colonies, and the roots and root collars of various herbs such as docks (Rumex) and campions (Silene). Sexual forms of Aphis sambuci occur in autumn. It is strongly ant attended on the primary host and sheltered by ants on the secondary host roots. It occurs throughout the northern continents.

Read more... 

 

Aphis sanguisorbae (Salad burnet root aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis sanguisorbae are blackish brown, sometimes with copper and red-brown hues on the posterior tergites. The newly moulted aphids are very shiny, but as they age they develop a slight wax bloom giving them a matt appearance. The wax bloom is most apparent on immature Aphis sanguisorbae. The dorsal cuticle usually has a distinct reticulation. The dorsal abdominal pattern is confined to narrow dark bands across tergites 7-8 and small dark intersegmental muscle sclerites. The siphunculi are dark, more or less cylindrical and with hardly any apical flange. The cauda is short, broadly tongue shaped and often very pale. Hairs on the legs are blunt and mostly short.

 

Aphis sanguisorbae alatae have large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, strong bands on tergites 6-8 and some additional bands or sclerites on some of tergites 1-5.

The salad burnet root aphid lives under ant-constructed shelters of soil or chalk particles at the base of salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor). Apterous males and oviparae are produced in autumn. There are few records of this aphid in England (only in Kent, Bedford and Cambridge - and now, with our record, in East Sussex), and one recent record in Wales. However, it is very easy to overlook this aphid, and it is probably widespread on chalk and limestone soils in Britain wherever its host occurs. Aphis sanguisorbae has been widely, but infrequently, recorded from most of Europe and from Israel.

Read more... 

 

Aphis schneideri (Blackcurrant aphid)

The apterae are dark bluish green to blackish green with distinct wax powdering. The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern is absent or limited at most to dusky bands across tergites 6-8. The siphunculi and legs are pale. The abdominal marginal tubercles are very prominent. The cauda is short and blunt. The body length of apterae is 1.7-2.3 mm.

The blackcurrant aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) and related currants (Ribes spp.) forming dense colonies up young shoots and under the leaves. It causes bunching and leaf curl and is attended by ants. It occurs throughout much of Europe and parts of Asia.

 

Aphis sedi (Stonecrop aphid)

The apterae are small and dark green to blackish green with no wax powdering. The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern is limited at most to dusky bands across tergites 7-8. The siphunculi are dark, but the antennae and legs have conspicuous pale sections. The cauda is short and blunt. The body length of apterae is 1.0-1.6 mm.

The stonecrop aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on various stonecrops (Sedum spp.) forming large colonies up young stems, in flower heads or under leaves. It is attended by ants and causes distortion of the infested shoot. It occurs throughout Europe and parts of Asia as well as the eastern USA.

 

Aphis taraxacicola (Dandelion aphid)

Aphis taraxacicola apterae are mottled dark green (see first picture below), and (according to the literature) are not wax powdered.

 

Our photos, however, reveal that the dorsum of Aphis taraxacicola may be lightly wax powdered (see picture below). Their siphunculi are dark and the cauda is dusky. Aphis taraxacicola alates (second picture above) are also mottled dark green.

The abdominal sclerotic pattern varies from being heavily marked with dark intersegmental muscle sclerites and small marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites across tergites 7-8 to almost complete lack of any dark pigmentation. Aphis taraxacicola siphunculi are 1.2 to 2.4 times the length of the cauda. The body length is 1.6 to 2.02 mm. The species is closely related to Aphis hypochoeridis  and Aphis crepidis , both of which share an association with yellow-flowered Asteraceae.

The dandelion aphid is found on the root collar and under the rosette leaves of Taraxacum (dandelion) species, mostly in dry sunny places with low or sparse vegetation. Aphis taraxacicola is usually ant attended and the ants tent over the colony with soil particles. It does not host alternate and sexual forms are found in autumn. It is found throughout Britain and the rest of Europe and in Siberia, with additional records from Canada and Japan .

Read more... 

 

Aphis tormentillae (Tormentil aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis tormentillae (uppermost aphid in picture below) are rather small and very dark blackish green, appearing black in life. The antennae of the adult aptera often only have five segments. There are small protuberant marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites 1 and 7. Their siphunculi are short and stout, 0.64-1.00 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is finger-shaped and dark like the siphunculi. The body length of the Aphis tormentillae aptera is 1.00-1.67 mm.

 

The dorsal abdominal pattern of Aphis tormentillae aptera is confined to bands across tergites 7-8, small dark intersegmental muscle sclerites and sometimes rudimentary marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites. The alatae have larger marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites with a median sclerite on tergite 6. Immatures are covered with a grey wax powder.

Aphis tormentillae lives scattered in small numbers on the leaf bases and in the flowers of tormentil (Potentilla erecta). It does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. The males are winged and the oviparae have rather strongly swollen hind tibiae. It is widely distributed in Britain but from very few counties mostly in Scotland. It has only been recorded from one county in England (Sussex) and one in Wales (Merioneth), but there are more records from Scotland. Aphis tormentillae has been recorded from most of Europe and from Russia.

Read more... 

 

Aphis tripolii (Sea aster aphid)

Apterous Aphis tripolii are apple green with a dusky head and no wax powdering. The abdominal dorsum is entirely pale. The siphunculi are yellowish with dusky apices. The cauda is dusky with 5-9 hairs. The body length of Aphis tripolii is 1.3-2.45 mm.

 

Alate Aphis tripolii (see second picture above) have rather pale marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, and sometimes pale and inconspicuous bands across tergites 7-8. The siphunculi of alates are uniformly dusky sclerotic.

The sea aster aphid does not host alternate but remains all year on the upper parts of the leaves and on the flowers of Tripolium pannonicum (sea aster). Sexual forms are produced in autumn. Aphis tripolii is found in coastal salt marshes or on mud flats in a few European countries including Britain. Our record for Hampshire appears to be a new one for that county as Aphis tripolii is previously only known from the coastal fringe from Kent round to Norfolk and in Wales.

Read more... 

 

Aphis ulicis (Gorse aphid)

The apterae are very dark blackish green but appear greyish because of the strong wax powdering. The sclerotized dorsal abdominal shield may appear shiny black. The siphunculi and cauda are dark, but legs and antennae are mostly pale. The body length of apterae is 1.3-2.4 mm.

The gorse aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on gorse (Ulex spp.) forming dense colonies on shoots, flowers and green seedpods. It is usually ant attended. It is widely distributed in Britain, but is otherwise only known from Spain and the Netherlands.

Read more... 

 

Aphis umbrella (Umbrella aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis umbrella (see first picture below) are pale green or yellowish green usually mottled with darker green. The abdominal dorsum in apterae is quite pale. The siphunculi in apterae are usually pale, often becoming slightly dusky at the apex. The siphunculi are 1.53 to 2.06 times the length of the cauda. The body length of Aphis umbrella apterae is 1.7-2.3 mm.

 

In alatae (see second picture above) the sclerotic pattern is confined to rather pale postsiphuncular and marginal sclerites and sometimes pale and inconspicuous bands across tergites 7-8. The siphunculi are uniformly dusky. Aphis umbrella alatae have 4-13 secondary rhinaria distributed on the third antennal segment, 0-5 on the fourth, and 0-1 on the fifth antennal segment.

Aphis umbrella feeds on mallows ( Malva spp.) and certain other Malvaceae, causing umbrella-like leaf-curl pseudogalls of the terminal leaves. It does not host alternate. Sexual forms appear in autumn, although reproduction is probably entirely parthenogenetic in warmer climes. It is often ant-attended. In Britain the Umbrella aphid has long been known from coastal localities in Sussex, Essex and Suffolk. It has more recently been recorded in several sites in Wales and Dorset. Aphis umbrella is found in Europe, Middle East and Central Asia and has been introduced to North America.

Read more... 

 

Aphis urticata (Dark green nettle aphid)

Aphis urticata is a small to medium size aphid. Early generations of the dark green nettle aphid are dark bluish-green with no wax covering and a body length of 1.7-2.2 mm. Later generations of apterae are yellow and much smaller with a body length of 0.9-1.4 mm. The abdominal dorsum is either unsclerotized or rarely with rather narrow dusky bands across tergites 7-8. The pale siphunculi taper towards their tips which are usually slightly dusky. The tongue shaped cauda is also pale. Alates have more sclerotization than apterae with bands across tergites 7-8 and some marginal sclerites. The siphunculi of alates are uniformly dusky and cylindrical. The body length of the alate is 1.5-1.8 mm.

 

The dark green nettle aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). In early summer it lives in dense colonies and is ant attended and causes leaf curl. The summer dwarf apterae live scattered under the leaves. It is widely distributed and often common throughout Europe, the Middle East, parts of Asia and the USA.

Read more... 

 

Aphis vandergooti (Yarrow root aphid)

Adult Aphis vandergooti apterae are dark blue-green (or rarely yellow) without any wax powdering. There is usually no dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern, or there may be narrow bands across tergites 7-8. The siphunculi are tapering, usually widening slightly at the apex with a very small apical flange, and 1.93-2.57 times the length of the cauda. Marginal tubercles are large and conspicuous but rather flattened. Leg hairs are all very short, much shorter than the least width of tibiae. The body length of Aphis vandergooti apterae is 1.4 to 2.0 mm.

   

Aphis vandergooti alatae are dark blue-green and have 3-7 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment. The micrographs (see 'read more' below) show dorsal and ventral views of an aptera in alcohol. The conspicuous, rather flattened, marginal tubercles are clearly shown.

Aphis vandergooti does not host alternate. It lives in ant shelters on the roots, stolons and basal leaf petioles of composite plants of the tribe Anthemideae, especially yarrow (Achillea millefolium), wild chamomile (Matricaria), and tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). Apterous males are produced in autumn. In Britain Aphis vandergooti is widely distributed, but not very much recorded. It is widespread in Europe, but apparently commoner in northern Europe.

Read more... 

 

Aphis verbasci (Mullein aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis verbasci are bright golden-yellow to pale-green and slightly wax-powdered. The apical rostral segment is very narrow, only slightly tapering and about 3.5-5.0 times as long as its basal width. Bands may occur on tergites 7-8, but may be absent. There is also a pair or irregular dark pleural sclerites on tergite 5 in front of the siphuncular bases - these are just visible in the two adult apterae in picture below, but are clearer in older adult. The black siphunculi are rather heavily built, strongly tapering and usually with a distinct outward curvature at the extreme base. The cauda of Aphis verbasci is short and tapering.

 

Images copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserved.

Aphis verbasci alates have marginal sclerites on tergites 2-4, postsiphuncular sclerites, strong bands across tergites 7-8 and a small irregular median sclerite on tergite 6.

The mullein aphid lives under basal leaves of mullein (Verbascum spp.) and of buddleia (Buddleja spp.). Oviparae and wingless males have been recorded in October. Aphis verbasci is found in Europe east into Russia, the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Northern India.

Read more... 

 

Aphis viburni (Viburnum aphid)

Aphis viburni is a member of the 'black aphid' group which includes Aphis fabae Aphis hederae  and Aphis ilicis Apterae of Aphis viburni are slate-coloured, brownish green or dark brown, sometimes with paired pleural wax spots on the abdomen. The sclerotic dark banding of the dorsum is variable, confined to abdominal tergites 6-8 in smaller apterae, but broken bands often present on some anterior tergites in larger specimens. The dark banding of the dorsum is more regular in the alate (see second picture below). Males are wingless.

 

Aphis viburni can be readily distinguished from Aphis fabae (which can also use Viburnum opulus as a primary host) by the gall of strongly curled leaves (see picture below) that it produces. Aphis fabae does not produce a gall.

Aphis viburni does not host alternate but remains all year on Viburnum opulus (guelder rose). Sexual forms are produced in autumn. The viburnum aphid is found in southern England and over much of Europe.

Read more... 

 

Aphis violae (Violet aphid)

Adult apterae of Aphis violae are dark green, mottled to a greater or lesser extent with pale green. The terminal process of the antenna is 2.4-3.7 times the length of the base of the sixth antennal segment. The siphunculi are black and 1.63-2.00 times the length of the dusky cauda. The body length of Aphis violae adult aptera is 1.1-2.0 mm.

 

The abdominal sclerotic pattern is variable, with the most heavily marked having dark intersegmental muscle sclerites, small marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bars across tergites 7 and 8. Marginal tubercles are rather large, especially in alates. Alates have 5-10 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment and 0-3 on the fourth.

Aphis violae lives basally on various species of violet (Viola) including sweet violet (Viola odorata) and dog violet (Viola riviniana). It does not host alternate. It is usually attended by ants which cover the aphid colony with soil particles. Sexual forms develop in autumn. Aphis violae is widely distributed in Britain and most of Europe.

Read more... 

Acknowledgements

We have made provisional identifications from high resolution photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity. In the great majority of cases, identifications have been confirmed by microscopic examination of preserved specimens. We have used the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994)  and Blackman & Eastop (2006)  supplemented with Blackman (1974) , Stroyan (1977) , Stroyan (1984) , Blackman & Eastop (1984) , Heie (1980-1995) , Dixon & Thieme (2007)  and Blackman (2010) . We fully acknowledge these authors as the source for the (summarized) taxonomic information we have presented. Any errors in identification or information are ours alone, and we would be very grateful for any corrections. For assistance on the terms used for aphid morphology we suggest the figure  provided by Blackman & Eastop (2006).

Useful weblinks 

References

  •  Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.

  •  Dixon, A.F.G. & Thieme, T. (2007). Aphids on deciduous trees. Naturalist's Handbooks 29. Richmond

  •  Stroyan, H.L.G. (1984). aphids - Pterocommatinae and Aphidinae (Aphidini). Handbooks for the identification of British insects. 2 (6). Royal Entomological Society of London.