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Calaphis flava

Yellow dark-veined birch aphid

Identification & Distribution  Other aphids on the same host 

Identification & Distribution:

The apterae of Calaphis flava are pale green or yellowish with dark tips to the antennal segments, femoral-tibial joints, tibial apices and tarsae. The alate has the wing veins dark, but less dark than in Calaphis betulicola


The siphunculi of Calaphis flava are entirely pale (see first picture below) or rarely have slightly dusky tips, in contrast to Calaphis betulicola which has dark tips to its siphunculi. Most secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III are placed towards the base of the segment (see second picture below), rather than being in the middle.


Calaphis flava favours small bushes of downy birch (Betula pubescens), but also found on young growth of larger trees and of other birch species. It is widespread in Europe eastward in Asia to Siberia and has been introduced to South Africa, Australia and North America.


Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list about 72 species of aphids  as feeding on birches worldwide, and provides formal identification keys for aphids on Betula. Of the 15 species on Betula pubescens, Baker (2015)  lists 14 as occurring in Britain: Betulaphis quadrituberculata,  Calaphis betulicola,  Calaphis flava, Callipterinella calliptera,  Callipterinella minutissima, Callipterinella tuberculata,  Clethrobius comes,  Euceraphis punctipennis,  Glyphina betulae,  Glyphina pseudoschrankiana,  Hamamelistes betulinus,  Monaphis antennata,  Stomaphis quercus  and Symydobius oblongus. 


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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