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Aphididae : Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Anuraphis
 

 

Genus Anuraphis

Pear gall aphids

On this page: Anuraphis subterranea

Anuraphis [Macrosiphini]

Anuraphis are medium-sized aphids, but their fundatrices are large. Their siphunculi are longer than the cauda and have closely-spaced rows of densely-packed spinules or nodules. The abdomen of the alate has rather flat round spinal and marginal tubercles on most tergites, and a dark patch centred on abdominal tergites 4-6 or 5-6.

There are about 10 Anuraphis species worldwide. Their fundatrices feed in spring on pear (Pyrus, Rosaceae), typically crumpling or rolling the leaves into pseudogalls. Their offspring develop into alates which migrate to the roots of daisies (Asteraceae) and umbellifers (Apiaceae). Anuraphis aphids are sheltered by ants when living on umbellifer roots.

 

Anuraphis subterranea (Pear - hogweed aphid)

The plump-bodied dark brown fundatrices of Anuraphis subterranea (not pictured) induce reddish leaf galls on pear (Pyrus communis) in spring. Brownish-black nymphs develop in the gall giving rise to alates which migrate to the secondary host, hogweed. There they form large colonies on the stem base and under leaf sheaths. These colonies are tented with earth by attending ants (see first picture below).

Adult apterae of Anuraphis subterranea on the secondary host are greenish-brown to pinkish-brown, and immatures are pink with faint greenish markings (see second picture below). Neither adults nor immatures are waxed (cf. Dysaphis species which are waxed to a greater or lesser extent). The antennae of the aptera are short with the terminal process of the last antennal segment longer than the base of that segment. Antennal segment III is usually slightly more than twice as long as segment IV (cf. Dysaphis species, which have antennal segment III slightly less than twice as long as IV). The dorsum has conspicuous longitudinal series of black dorso-lateral and marginal sclerites running from the anterior to the posterior tergites, and dark cross bars on tergites VI-VIII. There are large spinal and marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites I-VII. Anuraphis subterranea siphunculi are short and tapering and have close-set rows of minute fine spinules (these are very small!). The cauda of Anuraphis subterranea is helmet-shaped, not longer than its basal width in dorsal view, and has 11-12 hairs. The immatures are pale pink with greenish patches (this feature distinguishes Anuraphis subterranea from Anuraphis farfarae whose nymphs are yellowish-green). These immatures develop to brown emigrant alates. The body length of adult apterae is 2.3-3.5 mm.

Anuraphis subterranea alates (see third picture above) have a broad dark patch on abdominal tergites IV-VI. This patch is almost solid in spring migrants but is smaller, with a large window, in alates produced on the secondary host. The damage to the wings of the alate shown below is most likely caused by the attending ants which chew off the wings of alate aphids to prevent them leaving the colony.

In spring Anuraphis subterranea fundatrices live in the rolled and crumpled leaves of their primary host pear (Pyrus). The living leaf tissue is turned characteristically reddish (cf. Anuraphis farfarae where the leaf tissue usually remains green). The species host alternates to summer hosts which are umbellifers such as hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) and wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa). Here Anuraphis subterranea live inside the lower leaf sheaths and at the stem bases where they are tented by the attending ants. Anuraphis subterranea is found throughout Europe, North Africa and eastward to Iran.

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Acknowledgements

Whilst we make every effort to ensure that identifications are correct, we cannot absolutely warranty their accuracy. We have mostly made 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

  • Dixon, A.F.G. & Thieme, T. (2007). Aphids on deciduous trees. Naturalist's Handbooks 29. Richmond