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Genus Ceruraphis

Viburnum- sedge aphids

On this page: Genus Ceruraphis  Ceruraphis eriophori 

Genus Ceruraphis [Macrosiphini]

Ceruraphis are small to medium-sized dark aphids, the adult viviparae of which may be winged or wingless. Their antennal tubercles are undeveloped or very weakly developed, not projecting beyond the convex middle part of front of head when in dorsal view. Their siphunculi are entirely dark.

This is a small genus comprising just 4 species. They retain a sexual stage in their life cycle and hhost alternate between Viburnum (Adoxaceae) as the primary host and Sedges (Cyperaceae) as the secondary host. Ceruraphis aphids are not attended by ants.

 

Ceruraphis eriophori (Wayfaring tree - sedge aphid)

Ceruraphis eriophori is a medium-sized, oval, aphid. The antennae are short, only 0.29-0.37 times their body length. The dorsum of the fundatrix on the primary host (see first picture below) has extensive dark sclerotization. The same is true for Ceruraphis eriophori apterae on their secondary host. The siphunculi are black and are more than twice as long as the very short conical cauda. The body length of the Ceruraphis eriophori fundatrix is 2.5-3.0 mm, and that of the aptera on the secondary host is 2.0-2.8 mm.

The nymphs produced by the fundatrix are violet coloured (see first picture above) and all develop to alates (see second picture above) which migrate to the secondary host. The alate is brown with extensive sclerotization on the abdomen.

The wayfaring tree - sedge aphid host alternates between Viburnum spp. (especially wayfaring tree, Viburnum lantana) and various sedges (Carex spp.). On the wayfaring tree the aphid lives in a pseudogall of curled leaves. Ceruraphis eriophori is found in Europe and northern India and has been introduced to North America.

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Acknowledgements

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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