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Brachycaudus lychnidis species-group

Campion aphids

Identification & Distribution 

Identification & Distribution:

The dorsal abdomen of Brachycaudus lychnidis and Brachycaudus klugkisti apterae has an extensive solid shiny black shield with the underside red-brown. Their median frontal tubercle is about as high as the antennal tubercles. Their antennae are 0.6-0.8 of the body length. Their legs have the fore femora pale with dorsally dark apex; the hind femora are dusky with a pale base. Brachycaudus lychnidis & B. klugkisti tibiae are pale with the apex and base dark. Their siphunculi are dark truncated conical, and the cauda is rounded or semi-oval.

The campion aphids include Brachycaudus lychnidis and Brachycaudus klugkisti, both of which live all year on red campion (Silene dioica) and related species, but cannot (as yet) be separated in photos. Brachycaudus lychnicola also has the same host but lives at the base of the plant - all those we have found live on the upper parts of the plant.

The species in the photo is characterized by the wax ring around the terminal abdominal segments - this was very apparent in numerous live specimens, but is not mentioned in the literature, presumably because such deposits are not apparent in prepared slide specimens.

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Brachycaudus lychnidis : wingless, and winged.


Micrographs of clarified mounts  by permission of Roger Blackman, copyright AWP  all rights reserved.

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Brachycaudus klugkisti : wingless, and winged.



Our particular thanks to Roger Blackman for images of his clarified slide mounts.

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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