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Genus Wahlgreniella

Heather aphids

Species Overview: Genus Wahlgreniella  Wahlgreniella nervata 

Genus Wahlgreniella [Macrosiphini]

Rather large aphids which are similar to Amphorophora in many respects, but have fewer caudal hairs. Adult viviparae may be winged or wingless. The antennal tubercles are well developed with diverging or parallel inner sides. The antennae are rather long and thin. The siphunculi are long and swollen with no reticulation and a distinct flange. The cauda is tongue shaped.

A small genus with only 6 species in the world. Most live on plants of the heather family (Ericaceae), but with one on rose (Rosaceae) in North America. They do not host alternate, except perhaps Wahlgreniella nervata which may alternate from Arbutus to Rosa. They are not ant attended.

 

Wahlgreniella nervata (Strawberry tree aphid)

Wahlgreniella nervata apterae are spindle-shaped and yellowish or green (see below first picture), sometimes mottled with reddish anteriorly (see below second picture). The femora do not have distinctly dark apices. Their siphunculi are slightly swollen rather symmetrically about their inner and outer faces, they have dark tips and a small flange. Winged viviparae of Wahlgreniella nervata have a green abdomen with variably developed dark dorsal cross-bands, sometimes coalescing into an irregular patch.

 

There are two subspecies, Wahlgreniella nervata arbuti on strawberry tree (Arbutus) and Arctostaphylos and Wahlgreniella nervata nervata on rose (Rosa)

In North America they may host alternate between rose (Rosa) and ericaceous plants (mainly strawberry tree, Arbutus), although the host alternation has not yet been experimentally verified. Parthenogenetic populations on both Rosa and Arbutus have been introduced into Europe, and are treated as separate subspecies.

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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.

  •  Heie, O.E. (1980-1995). The Aphidoidea, Hemiptera, of Fennoscandia and Denmark. (Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica) E.J. Brill, London