InfluentialPoints.com
Biology, images, analysis, design...
Aphids Find them How to ID AphidBlog
"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important" (Sherlock Holmes)

 

 

Genus Macrosiphum [Macrosiphini]

Large spindle-shaped pink or green aphids, with long legs and antennae, the latter usually longer than the body. The adult viviparae may be winged or wingless. The antennal tubercles are rather high, smooth, and divergent. Siphunculi are long, flanged and not swollen, with a zone of regular polygonal reticulations covering the one-tenth to one-sixth near the end of the siphunculus. The cauda is always pale and very elongate.

On rose (Rosaceae) and many other hosts including teasel (Dipsacaceae), Apiaceae, Valerianaceae and Ranunculaceae. They usually do not host alternate, although some species retain host alternation with rose as the primary host. They are not attended by ants.

 

Macrosiphum albifrons (Lupin aphid)

The apterae are large pale bluish grey-green aphids dusted with white wax. The antennae and legs are pale or dusky with blackish apices. The siphunculi are dusky with dark tips (all dark in nymphs). They are 0.21-0.32 times the body length and 1.6-2.2 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is pale, slender and rather pointed. The body length of apterae is 3.2-5.1 mm.

The lupin aphid does not host alternate but spends its entire life cycle on Lupin (Lupinus sp). It lives mainly on the leaves, stems and flower spikes. It originates in North America where sexual forms develop in the autumn, and the aphid overwinters as eggs. In Europe it was first recorded in England in 1981 where it overwinters as viviparae. It is now widely distributed and considered an invasive pest species over much of Europe.

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum cholodkovskyi (Meadow Sweet aphid)

The apterae (see first picture below) are yellow-green to dark blue-green or coral-pink to red, with antennae longer than the body. The femora and the siphunculi are dark distally. This is a rather large aphid with a body length of apterae of 3.1-5.1 mm. The immatures (see second picture below) often have a longitudinal green stripe on the dorsum.

 

The meadow sweet aphid does not host alternate but spends its entire life cycle on meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria). It lives on the stem and among the flowers. The brown matter at the tip of the right siphunculus in the picture is the waxy substance exuded by aphids to repel predators. This aphid species is found throughout Europe and parts of Asia.

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Potato aphid)

The apterae are either green with a darker green longitudinal stripe or red, often rather shiny. The eyes are reddish and the antennae are darker towards their tips./ The femora are brownish and rather pale with the apices not dark or only slightly so. The siphunculi are pale sometimes with the tips darker, but not as dark as the tips of the tibiae. They are reticulated on the apical 13-20% and 1.7-2.2 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is rather pointed and not constricted. The body length of apterae is 2.0-4.0 mm.

 

The potato aphid is a common and highly polyphagous species which does not host alternate. It is often a pest on various crops such as potato (Solanum tuberosum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and beets (Beta vulgaris) as well as on numerous garden ornamentals. It is a vector of about one hundred plant viruses. It usually overwinters as viviparae, but it can produce sexual forms and eggs on rose. Aphid numbers increase rapidly from early spring, and alates spread infestations to other plants. It is an especial problem in unheated greenhouses. It was originally a North American species but was introduced to Europe about 1917 and is now cosmopolitan.

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum euphorbiellum =Macrosiphum amygdaloides (Euphorbia aphid)

The apterae are usually green sometimes with a darker green longitudinal stripe. The eyes are reddish and the antennae are dusky. It is very similar to Macrosiphum euphorbiae but the apical parts of the femora are black, markedly darker than is the case for Macrosiphum euphorbiae. The siphunculi are pale with the tips darker. The cauda is rather pointed and not constricted. The body length of apterae is 2.0-4.0 mm.

The euphorbia aphid does not host alternate but spends its entire life cycle on spurge especially wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides) and red spurge (Euphorbia characias).

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum funestum (Blackberry aphid)

The apterae are a rather dull green or red. The antennae are dark or dusky with darker tips to each segment and are longer than the body. The tips of the tibiae and the ends of the femora are dark. The abdomen has small marginal and antesiphuncular sclerites. The siphunculi are dusky but not black, and have paler bases. They are about 0.33 times the body length, 2.5-3.5 times the length of the cauda and are reticulated on the apical 12-15%. The body length of apterae is 3.0-4.3 mm.

The blackberry aphid does not host alternate but spends its entire life cycle on blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.). It lives mostly on the young shoots and leaves. Sexual forms are produced in autumn and the aphid overwinters as eggs on the blackberry stems.

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum gei (Herb Bennet aphid)

Macrosiphum gei apterae (see first picture below) are spindle-shaped, usually mid-green to bluish green, occasionally mauve with green mottling to wine red. The femora and siphunculi are dark at the apices. Their antennae are pale at the bases but darker towards the apices. The terminal process of antennal segment VI is 4.5-6 times the length of its base. The hairs on the dorsum of Macrosiphum gei are noticeably long (see first picture below). On abdominal tergite 3 the longest hair is usually more than 55 μm, and hairs on the head are 55-98 μm long (distinguishes from Macrosiphum euphorbiae ). The siphunculi are 1.7-2.1 times the length of the cauda with reticulation on the apical 11-17%. The cauda is rather pointed and not constricted.

 

The alate has the head and thorax brown with indistinct marginal sclerites and dark antennae and siphunculi; there are 8-26 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment.

Macrosiphum gei is found in dense colonies on the upper parts of the flower stem of Geum urbanum (Herb Bennet, Wood Avens). It can also occur on the undersides of the leaves of some Apiaceae, especially Anthriscus. Records of this species as a pest of potatoes result from misidentification of Macrosiphum euphorbiae as Macrosiphum gei. It is found in Europe and west Siberia and has been introduced to North America.

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum hellebori (Hellebore aphid)

The apterae are yellowish green with darker marbling, with dark apices to the antennal segments, femora, tibiae and siphunculi. The siphunculi are 1.9-2.6 times the length of the cauda. The terminal process of antennal segment VI is 4.6-7.9 times the length of its base.

 

Macrosiphum hellebori lives in sometimes large colonies on the undersides of leaves of Helleborus spp. On mainland Europe it overwinters in the egg stage and oviparae and alate males are found in autumn. In Britain it overwinters mainly as viviparae. It is found in Europe and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia.

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum ptericolens (Bracken aphid)

The apterae are pale yellowish green to a darker shiny green. The antennae are longer than the body. The abdominal dorsum is entirely sclerotized but pale and smooth. The siphunculi are strongly tapering and have 5-10 rows of distinct reticulations with the reticulated area sometimes distinctly constricted. The body length of apterae is 2.3-3.3 mm.

The bracken aphid does not host alternate but spends its entire life cycle on Bracken (Pteridium spp.). It is indigenous to eastern North America but has been introduced into England, central Europe and South America.

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum rosae (Rose aphid)

The apterae are green or red. The antennae and sometimes the head are dark, as are the ends of the tibiae and femora. The abdomen may or may not have small marginal and antesiphuncular sclerites. The siphunculi are black and bent outwards. They are about 0.27-0.41 times the body length, 1.9-2.4 times the length of the cauda and are reticulated on the apical 10-17%.

Macrosiphum knautiae (knautia aphid) is a related species which at present can only be differentiated from Macrosiphum rosae by the dimensions of the rostrum. Hence photos of Macrosiphum on Knautia spp may be of either species.

 

The rose aphid often does host alternate from the primary host rose (Rosa) to the secondary hosts, teasels (Dipsaceae) and valerians (Valerianaceae). However, colonies can be found all summer on rose and the species is an important horticultural pest.

Read more... 

 

Macrosiphum tinctum (Green willowherb aphid)

The apterae are mid to blue green with a darker spinal stripe. The femora are entirely pale and the siphunculi are dusky at their apices.

The green willowherb aphid does not host alternate and is found on willowherbs Epilobium species, mainly Epilobium angustifolium (rosebay willowherb) and Epilobium montanum (broad-leaved willowherb).

Read more... 

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.

  •  Heie, O.E. (1980-1995). The Aphidoidea, Hemiptera, of Fennoscandia and Denmark. (Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica) E.J. Brill, London