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Genus Laingia

Marram aphids

Species Overview: Laingia   Laingia psammae 

Laingia [Siphini]

Laingia are narrow-bodied aphids. They only differ from the related grass-feeding Atheroides in two respects:

  • The siphunculi are on abdominal tergite 6, as opposed to tergite 5 in Atheroides.
  • The dorsal carapace in membranous, as opposed to sclerotized in Atheroides.

The sole species within the Laingia genus mainly feeds on Ammophila arenaria (marram grass).

 

Laingia psammae (marram flower aphid)

Adult apterae of Laingia psammae are dirty straw-coloured to greyish green. They have a very elongate body, more than 2.5 times longer than its maximum width. The siphunculi are on abdominal tergite 6 (cf. Atheroides species where the siphunculi are on tergite 5) and are as slightly raised pores with sclerotic rims. Their diameter is greater than that of the hind tibia at midlength. The body length of the adult aptera is 1.6-2.8 mm.

 

Guest images copyright Thomas Legrand, all rights reserved

The alates have dark transverse bars on the dorsal abdomen.

Laingia psammae is widespread across Europe. It lives on the flower heads of marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) and has also been found on couch grass (Elymus), reed grass (Calamagrostis), tufted hair grass (Deschampsia caespitosa) and lesser pond sedge (Carex acutiformis). It is sometimes attended by ants. Sexual forms have been found in autumn and at other times of year. It is widely distributed in Europe and across Asia to east Siberia.

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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 sp 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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References

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