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Genus Utamphorophora

Grass aphids

On this page: Utamphorophora   Utamphorophora humboldti 

Utamphorophora [Macrosiphini]

Identification: Utamphorophora are medium to large aphids with the lateral frontal tubercles moderately developed, their inner side parallel or diverging with processes. The antennae are about as long as the body or longer, with inconspicuous hairs. Apterae are with or without secondary rhinaria. Their siphunculi are rather long and more or less swollen. The cauda is elongate, constricted near the midle.

There are 13 species in the world, most of them in America and East Asia. The ancestor of the group probably host alternated between Rosaceae and grasses.

 

Utamphorophora humboldti (American grass leaf aphid)

Adult apterae of Utamphorophora humboldti are apple-green with a pair of distinct dorsal darker green broad longitudinal stripes, making it appear to have a pale spinal longitudinal stripe. The antennae are darker towards their apices, and tarsi are dark. The inner sides of the antennal tubercles are converging or nearly parallel, with low conical wrinkled processes. The median frontal tubercle is very low. The siphunculi are pale or dusky and the cauda is pale. The body length is 1.9-2.6 mm.

Second image copyright Jochem Kuhnen,  all rights reserved.

Utamphorophora humboldti alatae have much darker pigmentation, with dark marginal sclerites on the abdomen, as well as intersegmental markings and two rows of rather large and dark paired pleural spots.

In North America the American grass-leaf aphid host alternates from ninebark (Physocarpus, Rosaceae) to the upper side of the leaf blades or flowerheads of various grasses (such as Poa, Dactylis, Festuca, Lolium). In Europe it mainly overwinters parthenogenetically on grasses. Utamphorophora humboldti is native to North America, but since 1975 has also been found in England, France and The Netherlands.

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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 sp 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.