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Genus Megoura

Vetch aphids

Species Overview: Genus Megoura  Megoura viciae 

Genus Megoura [Macrosiphini]

Medium to large aphids, the adult viviparae of which may be winged or wingless. Head with well-developed antennal tubercles, the inner faces of which are smooth and broadly divergent. Siphunculi somewhat swollen in middle, and either entirely black or dusky with black apices.

About 7 species feeding on members of the bean family (Fabaceae). They have a sexual stage in the life cycle overwintering as eggs, but there is no host alternation. They are not attended by ants. One species is an important vector of bean viruses which result in considerable yield loss.

 

Megoura viciae (Vetch aphid)

These are large mostly green aphids. The head and antennae are black, the latter being longer than the body. The prothorax is black, much narrower than the body which is green and globular. Black crescent-shaped sclerites are present in front of the siphunculi which are black and swollen in the middle, and about the same length as the cauda. The legs and cauda are also black.

 

The vetch aphid does not host alternate but spends it entire life cycle on leguminous plants, especially vetch, peas and broad beans. Eggs are laid at the base of vetch or pea plants and hatch in spring. Populations build up and after three generations winged forms are produced which disperse to other plants. Aphids generally move to the seed pods in autumn.

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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 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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References

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