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Aphis lantanae

Wayfaring Tree aphid

Identification & Distribution  Biology & Ecology 

Identification & Distribution:

The aptera of Aphis lantanae 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. Their cauda is rather short and bluntly tapering (a useful character for identification - see image of aptera below left). The body length of apterae is 1.5-2.1 mm. The alate of Aphis lantanae (shown below) 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. Aphis lantanae is a local species in Britain previously only recorded in Kent and Hertford, and now East Sussex. In continental Europe it has been found in France, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Italy.


Biology & Ecology:

Aphis lantanae probably occurs in most places where its host, the wayfaring tree, is found. We have found it in two nearby locations on the South Downs in East Sussex. In one instance an alate was found larvipositing on a leaf. On the other occasion we found colonies of aphids on the petioles of the developing fruit as shown below:

Each colony comprised a mixture of apterae and alates (see picture below).

Virtually no work has been carried out on the ecology of this species. On the taxonomic side, Jorg & Lampel (1995)  carried out vertical starch gel electrophoresis of members of the Aphis fabae complex including Aphis lantanae to find specific isozymic characters. Each of the 18 taxa investigated could be clearly identified by analysis of the banding patterns of 17 genetic loci.


We especially thank Plumpton College  for their kind assistance, and permission to sample.

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 


  •  Jorg, E. & Lampel, G. (1996). Enzyme electrophoretic studies on the Aphis fabae group. Journal of Applied Entomology 120(1-5), 7-18. Full text