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Aphis lambersi

Wild carrot root aphid

Identification & Distribution  Biology & Ecology 

Identification & Distribution:

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 (see micrograph below). 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.

 

Biology & Ecology:

We have found Aphis lambersi at two sites in southern England - Rye Harbour in East Sussex and near Clifton in Bedfordshire. Aphis lambersi has a number of colour forms ranging from blackish green through dark mottled green to purplish brown. Some of these colour forms are shown in the picture below.

We have repeatedly found Aphis lambersi in mixed species colonies with a Dysaphis species, either Dysaphis crataegi  or Dysaphis apiifoilia. The picture below shows the dark green Aphis lambersi with the very pale Dysaphis, the latter with reddish-orange patches around the siphunculi.

In East Sussex we found the species to be heavily parasitized by a braconid parasitoid (see pictures below).

 

Starý et al. (2014)  have recorded Lysiphlebus fabarum as a parasite of this species of aphid.

Acknowledgements

We especially thank Alan Outen (Bedfordshire Invertebrate Group ) and Rye Harbour Nature Reserve  for much kind assistance in obtaining the images above.

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

  •  Starý, P. et al. (2014). Interference of field evidence, morphology, and DNA analyses of three related Lysiphlebus aphid parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae). Journal of Insect Science 14 (171). Full text