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Macrosiphum hellebori

Hellebore aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution  Other aphids on the same host 

Identification & Distribution:

Macrosiphum hellebori 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.

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

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

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. Macrosiphum hellebori is found in Europe and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia.


Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list 4 species of aphid  as feeding on hellebores (Helleborus) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys.

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015)  lists all 4 as occurring in Britain: Aphis fabae,  Macrosiphum hellebori, Rhopalosiphoninus staphyleae and Myzus persicae. 


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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