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Uroleucon solidaginis

Goldenrod aphid

Identification & Distribution  Biology & Ecology 

Identification & Distribution:

Uroleucon solidaginis apterae are shining reddish brown, with rows of dark hair-bearing scleroites. Their antennae are longer than the body. Uroleucon solidaginis antennae and legs are mainly yellowish brown with the apical parts of the femora, knees and tips of tibiae dark. The third antennal segment is as dark as the rest of the antennae.

 

There are no antesiphuncular sclerites. Both the siphunculi and cauda are black, and their siphunculi are 1.6-2.1 times as long as the cauda. The distal 25% of the siphunculi is reticulated. Uroleucon solidaginis body length ranges from 2.3 to 4.1 mm.

Immatures are bright red. The alate males are green - see picture of colony of Uroleucon solidaginis with males by Jarmo Holopainen  

The goldenrod aphid is found on the upper parts of goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea). It does not host alternate. Oviparae and alate males can be found from mid-July to October. Uroleucon solidaginis is found in Europe, Asia, north Africa and North America.

 

Biology & Ecology:

We have only found the aphid Uroleucon solidaginis on one occasion - on a small group of plants of Solidago virgaurea at Dundreggan in Scotland.

There was only one live aphid in the colony (a fourth instar nymph) and this was reared through to the adult for identification purposes (see picture above). Most of the colony had been parasitized, so the plant was covered with large numbers of golden brown mummies.

All primary parasitoids had already emerged, so we cannot make a positive identification of the parasitoids. The most commonly recorded species attacking Uroleucon solidaginis are Aphidius funebris (Tomanovic et al, 2003 ) and Ephedrus persicae (Tomanovic et al, 2009 ).

Two species of hyperparasitoid (parasitoid of the primary parasite) were reared from two Uroleucon solidaginis mummies. They were identified as Alloxysta arcuata and Phaenoglyphis villosa.

The hyperparasitoid Phaenoglyphis villosa is pictured above.

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Mar Ferrer Suay and Edward Baker for identification of the hyperparasitoids.

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) , 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

  • Tomanovic, Z. (2003). A review of the West Palaearctic aphidiines (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) parasitic on Uroleucon spp., with the description of a new species, Annales de la Société entomologique de France (N.S.): International Journal of Entomology, 39(4), 343-353. Full text 

  • Tomanovic, Z. (2009). Ephedrus Haliday (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) in Serbia and Montenegro: Tritrophic associations and key. Acta entomologica serbica 14(1): 39-53. Full text