InfluentialPoints.com
Biology, images, analysis, design...
Aphids Find them How to ID AphidBlog
"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important" (Sherlock Holmes)

 

 

Genus Rhopalomyzus

Honeysuckle-grass aphids

Species Overview: Genus Rhopalomyzus  Rhopalomyzus lonicerae 

Genus Rhopalomyzus [Macrosiphini]

Medium-sized yellowish to black aphids, the adult viviparae of which may be winged or wingless. The head has well-developed antennal tubercles. Marginal tubercles are frequently present on the prothorax and abdominal segments 2-6. The siphunculi are swollen with a small, but well developed flange, slightly constricted just under the flange. The cauda is tongue-shaped and shorter than the siphunculus. Winged forms have head, thorax and dorsal abdominal cross bars or a large dorsal abdominal patch.

There are 9 species host alternating from honeysuckle (Lonicera) to grasses. They have a sexual stage in the life cycle overwintering as eggs on honeysuckle.

 

Rhopalomyzus lonicerae (Honeysuckle-grass aphid)

Apterae of Rhopalomyzus lonicerae on their secondary host (grasses, see pictures below) are very pale cream. Their antennae have the apex of antennal segment 3 and segments 4-6 dark. The antennal tubercles are well developed and diverging; the median frontal tubercle is broad and flat. The siphunculi are pale and strongly swollen with the width near the distal end 1.7-2.0 times the basal width. The siphunculi of Rhopalomyzus lonicerae are 1.3-1.6 times the length of the pale cauda. The body length is 2.0-2.6 mm.

 

Second image copyright Sandy Rae, all rights reserved

The alate viviparous female has a yellow abdomen with a dark dorsal patch on the middle tergites and smaller marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites.

Rhopalomyzus lonicerae host alternates between the primary host, honeysuckle (Lonicera) and the secondary hosts which are various grasses (Poaceae), especially reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinaceae). The leaves of the grass may be densely covered by aphids. It has a sexual stage in the life cycle, overwintering on the primary host as eggs. Rhopalomyzus lonicerae is found throughout Europe, central Asia and Siberia.

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 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).

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.