Genus Takecallis [Panaphidini]
These are small delicate narrow-bodied aphids. The head has poorly developed antennal tubercles and the clypeus (a large plate on the underside of the head at the base of the rostrum) has a characteristic forward directed tubercle. The antennae may be shorter or longer than body. The ratio of the terminal process of the last antennal segment to its base is slightly less than or about equal to 1. Usually all viviparae are winged. The siphunculi are short and truncate, without a distinct apical flange. The cauda is knobbed and the anal plate is bilobed.
There are five species which do not host alternate but feed on bamboo (Bambuseae). They appear not to have sexual forms, but reproduce all year parthenogenetically. The genus is oriental in origin, but several species are now widely distributed.
Takecallis arundinariae (Black-spotted bamboo aphid)
Adult viviparae of Takecallis arundinariae are all winged. Alates are whitish, pale yellow or greyish-yellow and may be lightly coated with bluish-white wax especially on the head and antennae (see first picture below). The third antennal segment is dusky to dark except at the very base, and has the most proximal secondary rhinarium situated close to its base. The thorax has variably developed longitudinal dark stripes, and the abdomen has a pair of figure-8 shaped black spots on each tergite (see second picture below of alate in alcohol). Takecallis arundinariae siphunculi are short and pale and the cauda is pale or dusky. The body length is 1.7-2.4 mm.
The black-spotted bamboo aphid is found on the underside of mature leaves of bamboos, mainly Arundinaria and Phyllostachys species. Takecallis arundinariae originates from the Far East (India, China, Japan etc), but has been introduced to many other parts of the world including much of Europe, Australia and North and South America. Sexual forms have been found in Korea, but reproduction is entirely parthenogenetic over much of the world.
Takecallis arundicolens (Black-tailed bamboo aphid)
The abdomen of the adult alate of Takecallis arundicolens is pale yellow or greyish yellow, without any dark dorsal abdominal markings (see two pictures below). There is a sparse covering of bluish white wax, especially over the antennae and the anterior of the aphid. Antennal segment III is pale near the base, but with a dark portion distally around the rhinaria. The cauda is conspicuously black (clearly visible at the rear of the aphid's abdomen).
The black-tailed bamboo aphid feeds on bamboo (Arundinaria, Bambusa, Phyllostachys and Sasa spp.) as well as common reed (Phragmites australis) (our own record in the UK). Takecallis arundicolens is an invasive species originally found in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, but now also present in Europe and North America.
- Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.
Alan Outen, 26 May 2014, A Takecallis species on Bamboo
A visit to Langford Garden Centre, Beds, this afternoon produced Phyllaphis fagi on Beech and Dysaphis plantaginea on Apple, so nothing remarkable there. However I then found a few aphids (apterae c 4mm + antennae!) on a Bamboo Fargesia sp. as illustated below. These look to me more like images on the internet of Takedallis arundinacea rather than the T. arundicolens on your website. I would be very interested in your thoughts. I am sorry for limitations in the images. They were very skittish!
Image(s) copyright Alan Outen, all rights reserved.
The bamboo aphid is Takecallis arundinariae. So far (at least as of 1984) only 3 Takecallis spp have established here. The only one with paired black streaks is T. arundinariae. Like T. arundicolens, it lives on mature leaves whilst the third species (T. taiwanus) lives on young rolled up leaves.
We still have not found Takecallis arundinariae - and would love to put a copy of your photo on the website.