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Identification & Distribution:

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).

Immatures (see picture below) may be pale or dark yellow in colour, and do not have a black cauda. They have long capitate hairs. At this stage they are difficult to distinguish from other Takecallis species.

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.

 

Biology & Ecology

Life cycle

Takecallis arundicolens is generally considered to be anholocyclic throughout its range, although Leclant (1966) (in Blackman & Eastop (1984)  ) reported oviparae in southern France. We have not found any evidence of sexual reproduction in southern England, but we have found adult parthenogenetic alatae reproducing throughout winter in local woodland (see picture below of an alate with offspring in January in southern England).

The black cauda is not very clear in the alate above, but is much more so in the image below.

By June large numbers of aphids can be found on the bamboo leaves.

Qiao & Zhang (2004)  reviewed the Takecallis species occurring in China including Takecallis arundicolens. Host plants recorded for the latter species include Phyllostachys species, Sasa nipponica, Sasa palmate and Sasa senaanensis.

There are very few reports of natural enemies of Takecallis arundicolens in the literature. Rakhshani et al. (2017)  has reported a new parasitoid species, Trioxys remaudierei, attacking Takecallis aphids outside their area of origin.

 

Other aphids on same host:

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. (1984). Aphids on the world's crops: an identification guide. J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK.

  •  Qiao, G.-X. & Zhang, G.-X. (2004). Review of the genus Takecallis Matsumura (Homoptera: Aphididae: Myzocallidinae) from China and description of one new species. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 52(2), 373-378. Full text 

  •  Rakhshani, E. et al. (2017). A new parasitoid (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) of the invasive bamboo aphids Takecallis spp. (Hemiptera: Aphididae) from Western Europe. Journal of Natural History 51 (21-22), 1237-1248. Abstract