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Aphididae : Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Amphicercidus
 

 

Genus Amphicercidus

Amphicercidus aphids

On this page: Amphicercidus japonicus

Amphicercidus [Macrosiphini]

Most Amphicercidus aphids are green or brown, and are covered to a greater or lesser extent with wax. The vertex of the head is convex, and the frontal tubercles are only partially developed, being produced on the median side, slightly exceeding the vertex. The rostrum is obtuse, with segment RIV fused with RV. The antennae have numerous secondary rhinaria present on segment III of both the alate and apterous vivipara. The fore wing has the media vein twice-forked. Body hairs are pointed or blunt. The tarsi are slender, with the hind tarsi 0.14-0.17 times the length of the tibia. The siphunculi are cylindrical, and transversely wrinkled. The cauda is very short, broad and semilunar resembling the anal plate; it bears short hairs, no longer than those on the vertex.

There are 10 Amphicercidus species recognised worldwide, 4 in East Asia, 2 in Central Asia, 2 in India and 2 in North America. They are mostly associated with genera in the Caprifolicaceae (Lonicera, Symphoricarpos), but one East Asian species feeds on Forsythia (Oleaceae) and another on Stauntonia (Lardizabalaceae). Most feed on the leaves or stems, but the American Amphicercidus pulverulens feeds on the bark of Symphoricarpus spp., at or below ground level.

 

Amphicercidus japonicus (Waxy honeysuckle aphid)

Adult apterae of Amphicercidus japonicus (see first picture below) are elongate oval and described in the literature as "dull yellowish brown with a greenish tinge in life" or "dark reddish to greenish or yellowish brown". The colour is largely obscured by a heavy coating of flocculent white wax. Their antennae are pale basally but fuscous apically, slightly less than body length - and with 13-33 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III scattered on the basal 0.5-0.67 of that segment. Antennal hairs are much longer than middle width of the segment, and the terminal process is 1.6-2.8 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.6-0.8 times as long as the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The prothorax and abdominal tergites II-V have marginal tubercles. The femora and tibiae are pale but darker at the apices, and the tarsi are dark. The siphunculi are dusky and unusually stout, being 3.5-4.5 times as long as the basal width (see clarified mount of aptera below). The genital plate is oval. The cauda is semi-circular, with 12-17 hairs. The body length of adult Amphicercidus japonicus apterae is 2.5-3.6 mm.

Images above by permission, copyright Akihide Koguchi, all rights reserved.

The alate viviparous female (see second picture above) has a dull yellowish brown abdomen with a few dark patches dorsally. The head, thorax, antenna, siphunculi, cauda and legs are mostly dark, but the femora and tibiae are lighter basally.

Amphicercidus japonicus lives in small dense wax-covered colonies on the young shoots and twigs of honeysuckle (Lonicera) species. There is no host alternation. In Japan oviparae and alate males have been found in October, but the species may be anholocyclic in India. Amphicercidus japonicus is found in Japan, China, Korea, northern India and east Siberia.

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Acknowledgements

We have used the keys and species accounts of Gillette & Palmer (1932), Oestlund (1923) and Palmer (1952) together with information from Roger Blackman & Victor Eastop in Aphids on Worlds Plants. We fully acknowledge these authors and those listed in the reference sections 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

  • Gillette and Palmer (1932). The Aphidae of Colorado, Part II. Ann. Ent. Soc. America 25, 369-496. Abstract

  • Oestlund, O.W. (1923). A synoptical key to the Aphididae of Minnesota. Nineteenth Rpt. State Ent. Minnesota 19 [1922], 114-151.

  • Palmer, M.A. (1952). Aphids of the Rocky Mountain Region: including primarily Colorado and Utah, but also bordering area composed of southern Wyoming, southeastern Idaho and northern New Mexico. Full text