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Mimeuria ulmiphila

Maple leaf-nest aphid

Identification & Distribution  Other aphids on the same host 

Identification & Distribution:

Fundatrices of Mimeuria ulmiphila live in terminal leaf nests (see first picture below) formed on field maple (Acer campestre), by inhibition of shoot growth, twisting and folding of leaves. These fundatrices are olive green-grey, covered with white wax wool. Their antennae are 5-segmented and are less than 0.25 times the body length. The third antennal segment is 1.2-1.9 times the length of the fifth antennal segment (including the terminal process). The body length of apterous Mimeuria ulmiphila fundatrices is 3.5-4.5 mm.

 

Images copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserved.

These fundatrices produce numerous dark brown alates, with a body length of 2.6-3.3 mm (see second picture below), which fly over an extended period (June-November). They have transversely elongate secondary rhinaria extending at least over the third to the fifth antennal segment. The sixth antennal segment of these alates is without secondary rhinaria other than those beside the primary rhinarium.

 

Images copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserved.

Apterous exules of Mimeuria ulmiphila live mainly on roots of elm (Ulmus); they are yellow, thickly wax-powdered, have a body length of 1.3-2.3 mm, and live singly encased in brown microrrhizal cysts.

Maple leaf-nest aphids host alternate between their primary host field maple (Acer campestre) and their secondary host, elm roots (Ulmus). Sexual forms are produced in autumn and return to field maple, but in western Europe they may remain on elm roots all year. There may also be overwintering of immature stages on the bark of field maple. Mimeuria ulmiphila has been recorded from several European countries including Britain, France, Germany, and Hungary as well as Turkey and Russia.

 

Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list 22 species of aphid  as feeding on Field Maple (Acer campestre) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys. Of those aphid species, Baker (2015)  lists 18 as occurring in Britain: Aphis craccivora,  Aphis fabae,  Aulacorthum solani,  Drepanosiphum acerinum,  Drepanosiphum aceris,  Drepanosiphum dixoni, Drepanosiphum platanoidis,  Mimeuria ulmiphila, Periphyllus acericola,  Periphyllus aceris,  Periphyllus bulgaricus, Periphyllus californiensis,  Periphyllus hirticornis,  Periphyllus minutus, Periphyllus obscurus,  Periphyllus testudinaceus,  Stomaphis graffii and Stomaphis longirostris.

Acknowledgements

We especially thank Dr László Érsek for the images shown above.

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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