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Genus Myzaphis

Lesser rose aphids

Species Overview: Myzaphis   Myzaphis bucktoni  Myzaphis rosarum 

Myzaphis [Macrosiphini]

Myzaphis are small elongate-oval dorso-ventrally flattened aphids. The head has a large median frontal process and a short antennal terminal process. The antennae are only about half the body length. The dorsum is sclerotic and ornamented with numerous small pits. The first tarsal joint is five haired. Their siphunculi are rather long and cylindrical with the distal part often curved outwards and slightly swollen. The cauda is tongue-shaped or triangular.

Myzaphis aphids feed on Rosa and Potentilla (the rose family, Rosaceae). There are seven species, six of which are native to Asia and Europe and one to Canada. Two species now have a cosmopolitan distribution.

 

Myzaphis bucktoni (Lesser rose aphid)

Adult Myzaphis bucktoni apterae are pale yellow to pale green with a dark brown head and dark brown dorsal markings. The markings consist of two large brown patches on the pronotum and paired brown stripes extending from the mesothorax to the base of the cauda converging between the siphunculi (see first picture below). The median frontal tubercle of Myzaphis bucktoni is rounded and usually bears four hairs as long as, or longer than, the basal diameter of the third antennal segment. Like the other Myzaphis species, Myzaphis bucktoni is a small aphid - its body length varies from 1.0-1.9 mm

 

Their alates have rather weak abdominal pigmentation which is usually divided intersegmentally in the midline, with large marginal sclerites on abdominal tergites 2-4 (see second picture above). The hairs on the front of the head are conspicuous. Antennae of Myzaphis bucktoni alates have 14-32 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment but none on the fourth.

This species mainly occurs on wild roses such as dog rose (Rosa canina) and harsh downy rose (Rosa tomentosa). Myzaphis bucktoni apterae feed dispersed along the mid-ribs of upper sides of the leaves. Sexual forms occur in November. Males are small, dark, wingless and very active. Oviparae are pale dusky olive green and have strongly swollen hind tibiae. Myzaphis bucktoni occurs throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

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Myzaphis rosarum (Lesser rose aphid)

Wingless adults of Myzaphis rosarum are yellow-green to green. The dorsal cuticle is pitted all over. The siphunculi are quite long, and are slightly swollen and dark-tipped. The cauda is long and conspicuous. The body length is 1.2-2.4 mm.

 

Alates have a dark central patch on the abdominal dorsum.

Myzaphis rosarum live all year round on wild and cultivated roses, especially climbers, and frequently also on shrubby Potentilla spp. There is no host alternation. They feed mainly along the mid-ribs on both the upper and undersides of young leaves. In Europe oviparae and small dark apterous males appear in November. The species is native to Europe, but is now almost cosmopolitan.

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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 rosarum 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).

Useful weblinks 

References

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