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Identification & Distribution:

Immature Euceraphis betulae are green with conspicuous short black-tipped siphunculi. Adult winged viviparae have a pale green to pale yellow abdomen and are covered with bluish-white wax. The head and thorax of alates are black above and below and the legs and antennae are usually quite dark. Note that recently moulted specimens may be pale and lack wax. The dorsal abdomen may be unmarked, or have transverse black bands (common in spring and autumn) or black patches on abdominal tergites 4 and 5. The presence of dark cross bands in spring distinguishes specimens from Euceraphis punctipennis The body length of Euceraphis betulae alates is 3.0-4.2 mm.

 

The images below shows a banded, and a un-banded, alate Euceraphis betulae in alcohol.

 

The silver birch aphid lives on the undersides of leaves of silver birch (Betula pendula). Sexual forms occur from September to November. Euceraphis betulae occurs throughout Europe and has been introduced to North America and Australia.

 

Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list 17 species of aphid  as feeding on silver birch (Betula pendula) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys. Of those aphid species, Baker (2015)  lists 14 as occurring in Britain: Betulaphis brevipilosa, Betulaphis quadrituberculata,  Calaphis betulicola,  Calaphis flava,  Callipterinella calliptera,  Callipterinella minutissima, Callipterinella tuberculata,  Clethrobius comes,  Euceraphis betulae, Glyphina betulae,  Hamamelistes betulinus,  Monaphis antennata,  Stomaphis quercus  and Symydobius oblongus. 

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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