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Identification & Distribution:

The apterae of Macrosiphum funestum are a rather dull green or red. Their 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. The siphunculi 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 Macrosiphum funestum apterae is 3.0-4.3 mm.

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Macrosiphum funestum : wingless, and winged.

Micrographs of clarified mounts  by permission of Roger Blackman, copyright AWP  all rights reserved.

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

 

Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list 10 species of aphid  as feeding on blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys.

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015)  lists 7 as occurring in Britain: Amphorophora rubi,  Aphis ruborum,  Aulacorthum solani,  Macrosiphum euphorbiae,  Macrosiphum funestum, Macrosiphum rosae  and Sitobion fragariae. 

Acknowledgements

Our particular thanks to Roger Blackman for images of his clarified slide mounts.

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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