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Metopolophium dirhodum

Rose - grain aphid

Identification & Distribution 

Identification & Distribution:

The adult apterae of Metopolophium dirhodum are medium-sized spindle-shaped aphids which range from green to yellowish green, with a brighter green longitudinal mid-dorsal stripe (see pictures below). The antennae are about 0.75 times the body length, and are mainly pale apart from the apices of segments III-V, and parts of segment 6 which are dusky or black. The siphunculi are long and pale, with slightly dusky tips. The cauda is pale. The body length of Metopolophium dirhodum apterae is 1.6-2.9 mm.

 

The alate is green and does not have any dark markings (see picture below left). The picture below right shows a mixed species population of Metopolophium dirhodum and Rhopalosiphum padi on wheat.

 

The micrographs below show an apterous adult vivipara (left) and an alate vivipara of Metopolophium dirhodum.

 

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

 

Guest image(s) by permission of Roger Blackman copyright AWP  all rights reserved.

The rose - grain aphid host alternates from rose (Rosa sp) as the primary host in spring and early summer to cereals and grasses, especially wheat, barley and maize, as the secondary host. In mild winters they may overwinter on grasses parthenogenetically. Large numbers on cereals can cause economic damage. Metopolophium dirhodum also transmit maize mosaic virus and barley yellow dwarf virus.

Acknowledgements

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

We also thank Hadlow College  and Middle Farm, East Sussex  for their kind assistance, and permission to sample.

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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