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Aphis violae

Violet aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution 

Identification & Distribution:

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 (see micrographs below), 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.

Acknowledgements

We especially thank Alan Outen Bedfordshire Invertebrate Group  for his 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).

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