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Genus Staticobium

Sea-lavender aphids

Species Overview: Genus Staticobium  Staticobium staticis 

Genus Staticobium [Macrosiphini]

Staticobium are medium to large aphids. The adult viviparae may be winged or wingless. In both apterae and alates the lateral frontal tubercles are broad, low and smooth. Their antennae have a relatively long terminal process with a few rhinaria on segment III. Spiracles are covered by tubercle-like opercula, an adaptation to regular immersion. The siphunculi are more or less cylindrical , tapering, sclerotic and pigmented with reticulation below a small flange. Staticobium aphids are morphologically similar to Macrosiphoniella but the antesiphuncular sclerites are absent. They are also similar to Sitobion aphids,  but the dorsum is not completely sclerotic, pleurospinal sclerites are absent from the alate and the reticulate area on the siphunculus is larger than in Sitobion.

Staticobium feed on members of the Plumbaginaceae. They are not visited by ants. The distribution is holarctic with 12 species worldwide.

 

Staticobium staticis (Sea lavender aphid)

Adult apterae of Staticobium staticis are dirty green or dirty red. The antennal segments I and II and the tips of the antennae, knees, tips of tibiae and tarsi are dark. The antennae are 0.6-0.9 times the body length. Short blunt body hairs are placed on small, dark scleroites. The siphunculi are black with pale bases and are 1.1-1.4 times the length of the cauda. The body length is 2.4-2.7 mm.

 

The alates are green or red with rather distinct marginal sclerites and well developed postsiphuncular sclerites. The siphunculi and cauda are rather thin. The oviparae are dark brown with a reddish anterior. The apterous males are green or olive with brown spots around the siphuncular bases.

The sea lavender aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on Statice limonium (sea lavender) on the leaf blade and on the upper parts of the stem under the flowers.

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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 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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References

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