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Genus Protrama

Daisy root aphids

Species Overview: Protrama   Protrama radicis 

Protrama [Lachnini]

Protrama are medium to large aphids. The apterae are normally alatiform, with dark dorsal cross bands and dark siphuncular cones. The eyes are large and the antennae are about half the body length. The hind tarsus is 0.5-0.9 times as long as the hind tibia. Siphuncular cones are present and are low and hairy. The cauda is rounded.

Protrama feed on underground parts of members of the daisy family, Asteraceae, (especially thistles and wormwoods), or of members of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. Heie (2009)  points out that amongst the Lachnini, members of the genera Protrama, Neotrama and Trama  are the only ones that do not live on trees as their only host. He poses the questions "What was the original primary host of these species?" Or did their ancestor conquer herbs as its only host in one step?

 

Protrama radicis (Daisy root aphid)

Adult apterae of Protrama radicis are dirty-white to pale-yellow or pale brownish-green. Siphunculi are present as pores placed on small, pigmented, cones. The head and appendages are dark. The antennal terminal process of Protrama radicis is 0.33-0.69 times the length of the base of the sixth antennal segment. The body length of the adult aptera is 2.5-3.4 mm.

 

The hind tarsus is 0.72-0.87 times the length of the hind tibia (cf. Protrama flavescens where the hind tarsus is only 0.59-0.70 times as long as the hind tibia).

Protrama radicis lives in ant attended colonies on the roots of various Asteraceae, especially Arctium, Carduus, Centaurea, Cirsium and Cynara.

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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 sp 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

  •  Heie, O.E. (2009). Aphid mysteries not yet solved/Hemiptera:Aphidomorpha/. Monograph: Aphids and other hemipterous insects 15, 31-48.  Full text