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Aphis brunellae

Self-heal aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution  Other aphids on the same host 

Identification & Distribution:

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 (InfluentialPoints,  Aug. 2015). Aphis brunellae is widespread in Europe and western Siberia.


Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list 8 species of aphid  as feeding on self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys.

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015)  lists 7 as occurring in Britain: Aphis brunellae, Aphis gossypii,  Aphis nasturtii,  Aulacorthum solani,  Macrosiphum euphorbiae,  Myzus ornatus  and Ovatomyzus chamaedrys.


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).

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