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Myzus varians

Peach-clematis aphid

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

Identification & Distribution:

Adult apterae of Myzus varians are pale green or yellow-green with conspicuously banded antennae. The terminal process of the antenna is 3.9-5.5 times longer than the base of the sixth antennal segment. On the secondary host (clematis) only the tips of the siphunculi are black (see first picture below). Myzus varians apterae from their primary host (peach) have the distal half or more of the siphunculi black. The body length of the adult aptera is 1.7-2.3 mm.

The alate is very dark, with a large dorsal abdominal black patch (second picture above shows a developing fourth-instar alate).

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Myzus varians. The first micrograph below shows an adult aptera from the primary host, the second shows an adult aptera from the secondary host (note the difference in appearance of the siphunculi).

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

The last micrograph, above, shows the antenna of an aptera (note the darkened distal portions of segments 3, 4, 5, 6-base and 6-tip).

The micrograph below shows an alate female Myzus varians.

Micrograph of clarified mount  by permission of Roger Blackman, copyright AWP  all rights reserved.

Myzus varians host alternates from Prunus persica (peach) to various Clematis species. Spring populations cause longitudinal rolling and reddening of the leaves of peach trees. On Clematis they can build up damaging populations. The species is native to eastern Asia, but has long been found in North America. It was first recorded in Europe in 1947, and has subsequently spread to south west Asia where it is a serious pest of peaches.


Other aphids on same host:


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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