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Genus Hoplocallis

Southern oak aphids

Species Overview: Hoplocallis  Hoplocallis picta 

Genus Hoplocallis [Panaphidini]

Hoplocallis are small aphids related to Myzocallis All adult viviparae are winged. Unlike Myzocallis aphids the antennal terminal process is always shorter than the base of the sixth antennal segment. Also the head and prothorax have a median longitudinal pale stripe extending backward from the median ocellus between bands of pigment. The pronotum has anterior and posterior spinal and marginal clusters of small hairs. The abdomen has paired dark spinal sclerites that are fused posteriorly across midline on some or all of the tergites.

There are four Hoplocallis species in Europe and Asia which all feed on oak (Quercus).

 

Hoplocallis picta (Painted holm oak aphid)

The winged adults of Hoplocallis picta (see first picture below) are rather elongate and are pale yellow-green. They have banded antennae and the abdomen has a series of dark spinal markings with pale centres. The body length is 1.8-2.1 mm.

 

Immatures (see second picture above) are broader and flatter than adult alates and have four longitudinal rows of pale-centred brown sclerites bearing clusters of hairs.

Hoplocallis picta feeds on the undersides of oak (Quercus) leaves in Mediterranean Europe eastwards to south west Asia and India. In Europe it is apparently extending its range northwards into Britain.

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).

Useful weblinks 

References

  •  Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.