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Amphicercidus japonicus

Waxy honeysuckle aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution Other aphids on the same host

Identification & Distribution

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". If we are correct in our identification of the specimens pictured here, they may be better described as green speckled with reddish 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.

Note: the terminal process in the specimen below was 2.3 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI, and the siphunculi were 3.6 times as long as their basal width. Both of these measures were within the known range for Amphicercidus japonicus.

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

The alate viviparous female 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. The head bears low, diverging antennal tubercles. The antenna are a little shorter than the body, with the terminal process 2.5-3.0 times as long as the base of segment VI. There are 80-152 secondary rhinaria on segment III, 0-4 on segment IV. The abdomen has a medial sclerite on each of tergites III & IV, often with smaller ones on II, V & VI, but with no marginal sclerites. The siphunculi are distinctly striated, either cylindrical, tapering or slightly attenuated at middle. The cauda is roundly pentagonal or roundly conical. The body length of alate Amphicercidus japonicus viviparae is 2.6 mm.

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

Amphicercidus japonicus lives in small dense wax-covered colonies (see second picture above) 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.

 

Other aphids on the same host

Amphicercidus japonicus is found on 10 species of Lonicera (Lonicera caerulea, Lonicera chamissoi, Lonicera chrysantha, Lonicera glabrata, Lonicera japonica, Lonicera maackii, Lonicera maximowiczii, Lonicera morrowii, Lonicera ruprechtiana, Lonicera tatarica).

Acknowledgements

We are especially grateful to Akihide Koguchi for allowing us to reproduce the image of Amphicercidus japonicus from his blog page.

Provisional identifications were made from high resolution photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity. We have used the keys and species accounts of Miyakazi (1971) along with Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006). 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

  • Miyakazi, M. (1971). A revision of the tribe Macrosiphini of Japan (Homoptera: Aphididae). Insecta Matsumurana 34(1), 1-247. Full text