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Aphididae : Aphidinae : Aphidini : Aphis
 

 

Genus Aphis [Aphidini]

Aphis are very small to rather large aphids with a body that is broadly oval in shape and never very elongate. The dorsal body cuticle is membranous with a variable amount of dark sclerotic markings. Marginal tubercles are almost always present on the pronotum and on some of the abdominal segments. The siphunculi are more or less cylindrical or tapering, never distinctly swollen. The cauda is finger shaped, tongue shaped or bluntly subtriangular. The legs are variably pigmented, but rarely entirely dark.

There are about 500 species in the Aphis genus. Most species are have a sexual stage in the life cycle and pass the winter in the egg stage. Others reproduce parthenogenetically all year round especially in warmer climates. Aphis species feed on a great variety of different plants, but never on sedges (Cyperaceae) and very rarely on grasses (Poaceae). Some species alternate hosts seasonally between a woody primary host and a herbaceous summer host. But many species do not host alternate, instead spending the complete life cycle on one species of plant. Aphis species are frequently ant attended and many are important crop pests.

 

Aphis agastachyos (Green horsemint aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis agastachyos (see picture below of adult aptera with immatures) are oval shiny dark green, with no dorsal abdominal sclerotization. Their antennae are evenly pale or with darker apices, 0.5-0.6 times the body length. The antennal terminal process is 1.5-1.8 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The hairs on antennal segment III vary from blunt to very acute with the longest about 1.5 to 2.0 times as long as the basal diameter of the segment. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is about 1.25 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) and has 4-8 accessory hairs. There are large marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites I and VII, bluntly conical, about as tall as their basal width. The legs are pale or (in alatiform specimens ?) with dark apices to the femora and tibiae. The siphunculi are pale, or dusky towards the tips, rather thick, evenly tapering to near the apex, with a wide flange and 1.4-2.0 (1.1-1.6 in Blackman) times the caudal length (cf. Eucarazzia elegans, which has the siphunculi strongly swollen and 5.4-8.2 times as long as the cauda). The cauda is darker than the siphunculi, thick, more or less bluntly triangular with 7-12 strongly curved hairs.

Image above copyright Andrew Jensen under a cc by-nc-sa licence.

The alate Aphis agastachyos has darker head, thorax, siphunculi, cauda and antennae than the aptera. The abdomen is coloured as the aptera, but there are bars on tergites VI & VII, spinal sclerites on tergites V and VI, and large dark marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites. The cauda is narrower than in the aptera, with up to 14 hairs.

Aphis agastachyos feeds on horsemint (Agastache spp.) and possibly wildmints (Monardella spp.), curling the leaves. The species is monoecious holocyclic with apterous males and oviparae being produced on horsemint. However, Hille Ris Lambers (1974) reported that they were not produced at the usual time (autumn), but in summer (July). Since the oviparous females contained no eggs, he suggested that either more productive oviparae might develop later in the year, or that the eggs had already been laid. If the latter is the case, it indicates an 'abbreviated' life cycle, possibly because the aphid can only feed on Agastache early in the year when leaves are soft and/or when there is sufficient soluble nitrogen available. Aphis agastachyos is found in western USA (Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington).

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Aphis armata (Foxglove aphid) Europe

The adult apterae of Aphis armata are black, rarely with any white wax spots (se first picture below). The middle abdominal tergites in apterae are usually without dark sclerotic bands, but they may have a few scattered sclerites, and the largest apterae may have segmental bands. The longest hairs on the hind femora and the tibiae are about twice as long as the least width of the tibiae. The ratio of the length of the apical rostral segment (RIV+V) to the length of the second hind tarsal segment is 1.04-1.25 (cf. Aphis fabae fabae for which this ratio is 0.88-1.10). The body length of Aphis armata apterae is 2.2-2.9 mm. Immatures often have discrete wax spots.

The alatae usually have the middle abdominal tergites segmentally banded (see second picture above). The oviparae have hardly any swelling of the hind tibiae (cf. Aphis fabae sensu lato, the oviparae of which have the hind tibiae strongly swollen - this is the only reliable characteristic to differentiate Aphis armata from all the Aphis fabae subspecies).

The permanent foxglove aphid does not host alternate. Aphis armata only feeds on foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). Sexual forms occur in autumn. The species has been found in several countries in Europe, but is probably under-recorded because of difficulties in identification. Other members of the Aphis fabae complex also feed on foxglove and can only be distinguished morphologically at the ovipara stage - which is not present for most of the year.

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Aphis asclepiadis (Dogwood-milkweed aphid) North & South America

Adult apterae of Aphis asclepiadis on their primary host, dogwood (Cornus), in spring, are dark yellow to green - with their siphunculi variably coloured from green to black. Apterae on the secondary hosts (mainly Asteraceae, Apiaceae and Apocynaceae) are pale green, yellowish green or deep olive green mottled with yellowish green - with black siphunculi (see first picture below). The abdominal dorsum usually has no dark markings anterior to the siphunculi apart from a few dark intersegmental sclerites (cf. Aphis fabae, which usually has some dark markings anterior to the siphunculi in addition to intersegmental sclerites). The third antennal segment is 1.05-1.95 (usually more than 1.3) times the length of the terminal process. The hind tibiae are pale for more than half their length (cf. Aphis nerii, which has entirely dark or dusky hind tibiae). Tergite VIII usually has 4-6 hairs (it ranges from 2-6) (cf. Aphis gossypii and Aphis spiraecola, which have 2 hairs (rarely 3) on tergite VIII). The siphunculi are 1.5-2.9 times as long as the cauda. The body length of adult apterae is 1.4-2.5 mm. Immature Aphis asclepiadis vary in colour from blue-green to yellow-green to yellow-orange, and fourth instar alatoid nymphs usually have a set of white wax spots.

All images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

The alate Aphis asclepiadis (see second picture above) has a green or yellow-green abdomen, dark intersegmental and marginal sclerites, postsiphuncular sclerites, and bands across tergites VII-VIII. Alatae have 15-40 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, & 0-2 on segment IV.

Aphis asclepiadis is now known to host alternate with a sexual phase on dogwood (Cornus spp.) where in spring they twist and curl the leaves. In late spring / early summer they migrate to a wide range of summer hosts in the Asteraceae, Apiaceae and Apocynaceae. The dogwood-milkweed aphid is usually attended by ants. Aphis asclepiadis is found throughout USA and Canada, and has been introduced to South America (Brazil, Peru and Argentina).

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Aphis (Toxoptera) aurantii (Camellia aphid, Black citrus aphid))

Adult apterae of Aphis (Toxoptera) aurantii are oval, shiny black, brownish-black or reddish brown in colour with rather short black-and-white banded antennae. The antennal terminal process is more than 3.5 times the length of the base of the last antennal segment (cf. Aphis gossypii which has the terminal process less than 3.5 times longer than the base of the last antennal segment). The cauda and siphunculi are black, and the siphunculi are 1.0-1.5 times the length of the cauda. The cauda usually has less than 20 hairs (cf. Aphis (Toxoptera) citricidus which usually has more than 20 hairs on the cauda). A stridulatory apparatus is present below and in front of the siphunculi. The body length of Aphis (Toxoptera) aurantii apterae is about 2 mm long.

Alates (see second picture above) have the head and pterothorax blackish. The abdomen has dusky paired marginal sclerites on segments 2-5 inclusive, a pair of large postsiphuncular sclerites, and transverse dark bands across tergites VII-VIII and sometimes also on tergite VI. Their siphunculi are 1.25-1.65 times as long as the cauda.

The black citrus aphid is found on the underside of leaves of Citrus, as well as tea (Camellia), coffee (Coffea) and mango (Mangifera). Infestation in spring can be very harmful to citrus crops. In temperate countries Aphis (Toxoptera) aurantii is a pest of ornamental Camellia bushes. Sexual forms are unknown, and aphids overwinter as viviparae. Adults stridulate by rubbing tibial spines on abdominal striae. Their distribution is now cosmopolitan.

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Aphis ballotae (Horehound aphid) Europe

Apterae of Aphis ballotae are dark grey-blue to mottled green. Their dorsum is membranous, sometimes with a small postsiphuncular sclerite. The siphunculi are black, and 1.33-1.95 times as long as the dark finger-shaped cauda.. The body length is 1.0-2.0 mm. Aphis ballotae is a member of the Aphis frangulae complex, difficult to distinguish from other members except by biology and host plant.

The alate Aphis ballotae has rather large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, short bars across tergites 7-8 and usually a conspicuous rather squarish sclerite on tergite 6 between the siphunculi.

Aphis ballotae lives on the stems and undersides of leaves of Ballota spp. especially Ballota nigra (horehound) causing slight downward leaf-curl in early summer. It does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn and the males are alate. The horehound aphid is found throughout Europe (except Scandinavia), and eastward to Crimea, Iran and Turkey.

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Aphis brunellae (Self-heal aphid) Europe, Asia

Apterae of Aphis brunellae are pale yellow, sometimes with a mid-dorsal suffusion of dark green. They are not wax powdered. In small specimens (body length less than 1.2 mm) the number of antennal segments may be reduced from 6 to 5. The abdominal dorsum is membranous with little or no sclerotic banding. The hairs on the anterior surface of the femora are shorter than the least width of the tibia. The siphunculi are dusky or dark and are 0.92 -1.90 times the length of the pale cauda. The body length of Aphis brunellae apterae is 0.98-1.45 mm.

Aphis brunellae lives up the stems or hidden among the flower bracts of self-heal (Prunella vulgaris). It is attended by ants - the colony we found had been tented over with soil particles. It does not host alternate and sexual forms appear in autumn. The self-heal aphid is rare in Britain, being previously only recorded from Buckingham and Cambridge, but now also known from East Sussex (InfluentialPoints, Aug. 2015). Aphis brunellae is widespread in Europe and western Siberia.

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Aphis callunae (Heather aphid) Europe, Canada

Aphis callunae is a small rather stout dark brown aphid which appears pinkish because of the powdering of wax. Blackman describes immature Aphis callunae as 'greenish' in life, but we have found them to be reddish brown (see below). The dorsal cuticle is strongly reticulate. The abdominal tergites are usually only banded on tergites 7-8. The siphunculi are very short, only 0.64-0.79 times the length of the cauda. The body length of Aphis callunae apterae is about 1.7 times the body width (in live specimens), with an absolute body length of 1.0-1.4 mm.

The heather aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis callunae feeds on heather (Calluna vulgaris) and is reported to live on old straggling plants typical of woodland clearings and margins. Aphis callunae is found over much of western, northern & central Europe, and has also been recorded from Canada.

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Aphis ceanothi (California lilac aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis ceanothi (see first two pictures below) are dull reddish or amber-brown, with dark siphunculi and cauda. The dorsal abdomen has large black antesiphuncular sclerites, often linked by a transverse sclerite on abdominal tergite VI (cf. Aphis boydstoni in north-west USA & Canada, which has the dorsal abdomen pale, without any antesiphuncular sclerites). The antennal tubercles are weakly developed. The antennal terminal process is 1.5-2.8 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The length of the apical rostral segment (IV+V) is about the same as that of second hind tarsal segment. Marginal tubercles are small and only present on abdominal tergites I & VII (cf. Aphis boydstoni, which has the marginal tubercles broad, nearly flat and present on all of abdominal tergites I-VII). The siphunculi are slightly longer than antennal segment III, they are curved outwards, and are more or less cylindrical (cf. Illinoia ceanothi in western USA, which has very long and thin siphunculi, narrow in middle, with distal part dusky and somewhat swollen, narrowing again before the apex). The cauda is about as long as broad at base, and bears 3-4 hairs on each side. The body length of adult Aphis ceanothi apterae is 1.0-2.3 mm.

Images above, copyright Ken Schneider under a creative commons licence.

Aphis ceanothi alatae (see second picture above) have secondary rhinaria convex, with narrow margins, arranged in double row on antennal segment III (distributed III: 11-36; IV: 0-5; V: 0-1). Marginal tubercles are quite large on the prothorax and abdominal tergites I and VII and, in some cases they are present on all abdominal segments. Immature Aphis ceanothi (see first picture below) are a pale orangey-brown when very young, but acquire the adult coloration in instar II-III.

Aphis ceanothi is found on the flower stems and leaves of California lilac (Ceanothus spp.). In California it has also been found on Noltea africana (a South African tree). The species is monoecious holocyclic. Oviparae and apterous males have been found in September. It is sometimes attended by ants (see second picture above). Aphis ceanothi is distributed through western USA into Canada.

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Aphis cephalanthi (buttonbush aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis cephalanthi are dark purplish brown to almost black with dark siphunculi and cauda. They have wax spots arranged in four spinal and marginal rows along the abdomen. The antennal terminal process is less than the length of antennal segment III, but always much longer than half the length of that segment. The hairs on antennal segment are 0.013-0.018 mm in length (cf. Aphis impatiens which have shorter hairs on that segment). Well-developed marginal tubercles are present on most abdominal segments (cf. Aphis impatiens which usually only has tubercles on segments I & VII). Unusually for an Aphis, the tubercles on abdominal tergite VII are posterior to, and on a level with, the spiracles. The siphunculi are usually shorter than 1.5 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The body length of adult Aphis cephalanthi apterae is 0.9-1.7 mm.

Both images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Alatae of Aphis cephalanthi (see second picture above) have similar wax markings to the apterae, with 9-15 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and 0-5 on segment IV.

Aphis cephalanthi lives on the leaves, stems and flowerheads of buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), a shrub or small tree of the coffee family (Rubiaceae) that occurs as two subspecies. One subspecies of the shrub is widely distributed in eastern North America and the other is more patchily distributed in western North America. The aphids are attended by ants. Oviparae and alate males occur in late September and the species overwinters as eggs laid on buttonbush - there is no host alternation. Aphis cephalanthi is widely distributed in North America wherever its host occurs, and in Cuba. There is also a possible record from South Africa.

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Aphis cercocarpi (Oceanspray-cornlily aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis cercocarpi (see first picture below) are shining lead-grey to greenish-black. Their antennae and legs are pale with the tips of the joints dusky and the tarsi, siphunculi, cauda, anal plate and genital plate black. The antennal terminal process is 1.3-2.2 times as long as of the base of antennal segment VI. The rostrum almost reaches the 3rd pair of coxae, and the apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.2-1.7 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The abdominal dorsum is reticulated and has dark spots or patches, but no solid dark shield (cf. Aphis craccivora, which has an extensive solid dark shield on the abdominal dorsum). Abdominal tergites II-IV are usually without marginal tubercles, rarely with just 1 or 2 (cf. an undescribed Aphis sp. on Veratrum in western USA, which consistently has marginal tubercles on tergites II-IV). The tibial hairs are rather long, equalling the diameter of the tibia. The siphunculi are cylindrical, broadening at the base, and longer than the cauda (cf. Aphis schuhi, which has siphunculi shorter than the cauda). The short rather wart-like cauda is bluntly tapering to spatulate with a distinct constriction near the base, and bearing 4-12 hairs (cf. Aphis fabae, which has a cauda bearing 11-25 hairs). The body length of adult Aphis cercocarpi apterae is 1.0-2.3 mm.

Images above copyright Andrew Jensen under a cc by-nc-sa licence.

Aphis cercocarpi alates (see second picture above) have a black head and thorax, and a blackish green abdomen. Their antennae are mostly dark, the tibiae are pale with blackish tips, and the siphunculi and cauda are dusky. There are 15-34 large round secondary rhinaria scattered over the entire length of antennal segment III, 0-13 secondary rhinaria on segment IV, and 0-1 rhinaria on segment V (rhinaria are absent in the aptera).

Aphis cercocarpi was until recently considered to be a monoecious holocyclic species on mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.). Jensen (2021) has now shown experimentally that the species is instead heteroecious holocyclic, migrating from the primary host, ocean spray (Holodiscus spp.) to the secondary host, corn lily (Veratrum spp.). Blackman noted that the presence of apterous males in some locations indicates there is either life-cycle variation or that two cryptic species are involved. Jensen states this is a common species in Oregon and Washington, feeding on Holodiscus discolor. Aphis cercocarpi is often tended by ants. The species is known to occur in western USA and Canada.

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Aphis chloris (St John's wort aphid) Europe, Asia

Aphis chloris is rather bright green, pale yellow-green or dark green and is a member of Aphis frangula group. The antennal terminal process is rather short, being 1.6-2.1 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The fused terminal rostral segment is also short being only 0.9-1.0 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment. The abdominal dorsum is usually entirely membranous with few if any sclerotized areas. Tibial hairs are short, at most 0.7-1.2 times as long as the least width of the hind tibia, and all femoral hairs are much shorter than the least tibial width. Aphis chloris has dark siphunculi but a slightly paler cauda. The siphunculi are 0.83-1.63 times the length of the cauda. The body length apterae is 1.0-1.8 mm.

The alate Aphis chloris has dusky marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bands across tergites VII-VIII or VI-VIII.

The St John's wort aphid does not host alternate. It lives basally on Hypericum spp. especially St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) where it may be attended by ants. Oviparae and dull green apterous males are produced in the autumn. In Britain it has been little recorded (till now only from Surrey, Hertford and Buckingham), but Stroyan (1984) commented that it was probably widespread in southern Britain. Aphis chloris is found throughout Europe and into Asia.

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Aphis chrysothamni (Waxy-tipped rabbitbrush_aphid)Western America

Adult apterae of Aphis chrysothamni (see first picture below) have a dark red-brown head and prothorax, a pinkish or greenish mesothorax, metathorax and abdomen. There is a large dark spot on the anterior abdomen, and wax powder on abdominal tergites VII-VIII. Antennal segments II & III are pale, but segments I and IV-VI are dark. The antennae are about half as long as the body and are on very low antennal tubercles (see second picture below). The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is stiletto-shaped (see third picture below), with RV extended as a needle-like tip (cf. Aphis ornata and Aphis gregalis, which do not have RV extended as a needle-like tip). RIV has a pair of very finely pointed accessory hairs, as long as or longer than the subapical (primary) hairs. RIV+V is 0.11-0.18 mm long, and is 1.1-1.4 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) (cf. Aphis chrysothamnicola, which has R IV+V 0.21-0.24 mm long, and is 1.75-2.0 times HTII). The dorsal abdomen usually has a dark central sclerite of irregular shape on tergites I-III or I-IV. The siphunculi are dark, fairly short and tapering. The cauda is dark, very short and broadly pointed. The body length of Aphis chrysothamni apterae is from 1.0 mm (summer dwarfs) to 2.4 mm.

Images above copyright Jesse Rorabaugh under a public domain (CCO) licence.

The alate of Aphis chrysothamni (not pictured) has the antennae, head and thorax black, with the abdomen green or pinkish mottled with darker green; the legs are black with dusky tibiae. The antennae are about two-thirds as long as the body. Segment III has 4-10 secondary rhinaria in a more-or-less straight line, segment IV has 0-5 rhinaria, and segment V 0-1.

Aphis chrysothamni is monoecious holocyclic on rabbitbrush (Ericameria & Chrysothamnus spp.). Oviparae and apterous males have been found in late September. Wilson (1915) found the species very abundant on yellow rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus ssp. lanceolatus) on side hills along the canyons in Salisbury, Oregon, during July, 1912 and 1914. Palmer (1952) found the species quite commonly on grey rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa) in Utah & Idaho, but in three sites in Utah the apterae were undersized in all parts except the rostrum and terminal process; these are thought to represent variations of Aphis chrysothamni, but further investigations are needed. The species is found in western America.

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Aphis citricidus (Brown citrus aphid) Cosmopolitan in subtropical and warm temperate countries

Adult apterae of Aphis citricidus (previously Toxoptera citricida) are shiny, very dark brown to black, with dark siphunculi and cauda (see first picture below) (cf. Aphis spiraecola, which are yellow or green). The antennae of adult wingless forms and larger nymphs are not striped, but are dark on about the distal half of its length (cf. Aphis aurantii, which has black-and-white banded antennae; and cf. Aphis craccivora, which has the antenna dark on only the distal 0.3 of its length). The terminal process is 4.0-4.5 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The longest hairs on antennal segment III are 1.5-2.0 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis aurantii, which has the longest hairs on that segment 0.5-1.0 times the basal diameter). The siphunculi are about 1.5 times as long as the cauda. The body length of adult Aphis citricidus apterae is 1.5-2.4 mm.

First image above by permission, copyright Sunil Joshi & Poorani, J. Aphids of Karnataka. (accessed 12/8/20).
Second image above copyright Marco Gaiani under a Creative Commons License.

Alatae of Aphis citricidus have a shiny black abdomen. Antennal segment III is dark (cf. Aphis aurantii, which has antennal segment III mainly pale). The forewing has a pale pterostigma and a twice-branched medial vein (cf. Aphis aurantii, which has a very dark pterostigma, and usually a once-branched media). Immature Aphis citricidus are a distinctive orange-brown (see second picture above).

Aphis citricidus is mainly found on young growth of plants in the citrus family (Rutaceae), although occasionally large colonies of aphids develop on young growth of other trees and shrubs. Citrus is undoubtedly the main host where the aphid rolls the leaves and stunts shoots sometimes causing significant damage. However, most damage results from transmission of the tristeza virus. Aphid colonies are ant-attended. The species is anholocyclic in most parts of the world - but a sexual phase has been recorded on Citrus unshiu in Japan, suggesting that is where the species originated. The brown citrus aphid is found in southern Africa, southern Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands and subtropical and warm temperate parts of South America. More recently it has spread to important citrus-growing areas in Central America, the Caribbean and southern USA, as well as to Madeira, Portugal and north-western Spain. It has not so far reached the Mediterranean region nor the Middle East.

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Aphis commensalis (Waxy buckthorn aphid) Europe, Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis commensalis are darkish grey-green with a heavy greyish wax coating (see first picture below). The abdominal dorsum has no pigmented sclerites except for faint narrow bands across tergites 7-8. Small marginal tubercles are present on the first and seventh abdominal tergites. Hairs on the tibiae are long and fine, the longest on the hind tibia being 1.7-2.4 times the least width of the tibia. The dusky siphunculi are rather short being only 0.9-1.2 times as long as the cauda. The cauda is short and blunt. Body length of the adult Aphis commensalis aptera is 0.9-1.7 mm.

Images copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserved.

The waxy buckthorn aphid lives on purging buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). Early generations cause leaf curl galls on the young foliage of its host as shown in the second picture above. From midsummer onwards they are found in abandoned leaf-edge fold galls of the psyllid Trichochermes walkeri. Apterous males and oviparae occur in October, and eggs are laid within the psyllid gall. Aphis commensalis is a rare species in Britain, known only from Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire. Elsewhere in Europe it is found in Germany, Poland, Austria and Russia.

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Aphis confusa (Green scabious aphid) Europe, Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis confusa (see large pale green apterae in first picture below) are pale green, mottled to a greater or lesser degree with darker green. Some small midsummer apterae living low down on the plant are wholly pale yellow, and many are alatiform with secondary rhinaria and wing rudiments. The antennae are 6- or 5-segmented (the latter mainly in small midsummer specimens), with the terminal process 1.5-3.3 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment is 1.1-1.4 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment. The abdominal dorsum is membranous, sometimes with a small siphuncular sclerite. The abdomen has rather small marginal tubercles on tergites I & VII, with occasional ones on other tergites. The posterior hair on the hind trochanter is quite long at 0.6-1.1 times the diameter of the trochanto-femoral suture (cf. Aphis thomasi on Scabiosa, which has the hairs on the hind trochanter shorter, at 0.2-0.5 times the diameter of the trochanto-femoral suture). The siphunculi and cauda are similarly pigmented - dark in green specimens, pale or dusky in yellow ones (cf. Aphis gossypii, where the siphunculi are usually much darker than the cauda). The siphunculi are 0.82-2.21 times the caudal length. The body length of adult Aphis confusa apterae is 1.0-2.3 mm.

Images above by permission, copyright El Gritche, all rights reserved.

Alatae (not pictured) and alatiform apterae of Aphis confusa have 3-7 sensory rhinaria on antennal segment III, 0-1 on IV and 0 on V. The abdomen is yellow or green, the siphunculi are black and the abdomen has marginal and very large postsiphuncular sclerites, dorsal cross bars on tergites (VI), VII & VIII, and frequently some other small sclerites.

Aphis confusa is found on field scabious (widow flower, Knautia arvensis) and sometimes on scabious (Scabiosa) and teasel (Dipsacus). Both colour forms of the aphid (yellow and green) can be found throughout the summer, the green ones mostly in June and July, and the pale yellow ones mostly in July and August. The species is holocyclic with yellowish, reddish or brownish orange oviparae occurring in September/October. Aphis confusa is closely attended by ants, more so in fact than Aphis gossypii. Aphis confusa is found in Europe, including Britain, south to Spain, Italy & Greece, and East to West Siberia.

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Aphis coreopsidis (Tupelo-blackjack aphid) North & South America

Adult apterae of Aphis coreopsidis (see first two pictures below) are yellow with a variable degree of dark green mottling especially along the spinal area. There is sometimes an orange suffusion around and between their siphunculi. The head and antennal segments I, II, and the basal part of III, are very pale, contrasting with the rest of the antenna which is dark. The antennal terminal process is 4 or more times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. Their legs are mostly pale-dusky, but the apical parts of the tibiae are somewhat darker. The siphunculi are dark, about twice as long as the cauda, and 0.24-0.40 times the body length. The cauda is longer than broad and much paler than the siphunculi. The body length of adult Aphis coreopsidis apterae is 1.5-1.8 mm.

First image above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.
Second images above, copyright glmory under a public domain (CCO) licence.

The alate viviparous Aphis coreopsidis female (see third picture above, and second below) is pale green heavily mottled with dark green with a dark head, thorax, antennae, legs and siphunculi. The ovipara is small and yellowish-green. The alate male has the head and thorax dark greenish brown, the abdomen dark green, siphunculi and cauda brownish and antennae brown; antennal segments III & IV have scattered secondary sensoria but on segment V they are arranged in an irregular row.

Aphis coreopsidis lives on the stems and leaves of new shoots of the tupelo tree (Nyssa sylvatica) in spring. In North America it host alternates between Nyssa and secondary hosts in the aster family (Asteraceae), especially blackjack (Bidens pilosa), also mallows (Malvaceae) and mints (Lamiaceae). On its summer hosts Aphis coreopsidis occurs on the undersides of leaves and on the flower stalks. They are usually attended by ants. Sexual forms develop on Nyssa in autumn. Populations have been found especially on Bidens pilosa in central and South America and Hawaii, and alatae appearing to be this species have been trapped in Ghana, Uganda and Saudi Arabia.

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Aphis cornuta sp. nov. (Horned oxtongue aphid) Europe

The (newly described) horned oxtongue aphid - Aphis cornuta - lives in ant-tented colonies at the stem base of prickly oxtongue (Picris echioides, see first picture below). Adult Aphis cornuta apterae are bright yellow to yellow-green with dark siphunculi and dusky cauda (see second picture below). There are sometimes pale brownish-green sclerotic areas laterally on the thoracic and first abdominal tergites, brownish-green cross-bands on abdominal tergites 7 and 8, and small brownish-green triangular patches posterior to the bases of the siphunculi. The antennal terminal process is 3.13-4.13 times the length of the base of segment 6 (cf. Aphis picridis where the antennal terminal process is 2.0-2.8 times longer than the base). The rostrum is long - extending back well beyond the bases of the hind coxae, 0.38-0.57 times the body length (cf. Aphis picridis in which the rostrum is also quite long at 0.35-0.46 times the body length). The apical rostral segment (R IV+V) is 1.40-1.78 times longer than second segment of hind tarsus (HTII). Aphis cornuta aptereae have exceptionally large marginal tubercles on the prothorax with a basal diameter usually > 50 μm (cf. Aphis ochropus which has the basal diameter of its prothoracic tubercles < 50 μm. Blackman, pers. comm.) - hence the English name of horned oxtongue aphid. There are also quite large marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites 1 and 7, and also often smaller ones on abdominal tergite 6 (cf. Aphis picridis which only has small marginal tubercles on tergites 1 and 7). The siphunculi are 1.91-2.82 times longer than the cauda (cf. Aphis picridis which has the siphunculi 1.6-1.9 times longer than the cauda). The cauda is tongue-shaped with a slight midway constriction and bears 6-8 hairs.

The Aphis cornuta alate (see third picture above) has a shiny dark head and thorax and a yellow-green abdomen. Dorsal abdominal sclerotisation is limited to small marginal sclerites, small triangular postsiphuncular sclerites and narrow cross bands on abdominal tergites 7 and 8 as in the apterae, and a small sclerite of irregular shape between the siphunculi. The siphunculi are dark and the cauda is dusky. Immatures are pale yellow. Early instars have dark tips to mainly pale siphunculi, whilst fourth instars have mainly dark siphunculi which are paler towards the bases.

The horned oxtongue aphid is only recorded from southern England. It was first found in 2015 in ant-attended colonies at the stem base of prickly oxtongue plants (Picris echioides) growing at the roadside on the Clifton-Shefford bypass in Bedfordshire. In 2018 it was found again at the same location and at another site in Bedfordshire, Etonbury Woods. The most recent finding was in July 2019, at Rye Harbour in East Sussex.

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Aphis coronillae (Clover aphid, Medick aphid) Europe, Asia

Aphis coronillae lives in ant-tented colonies on the basal parts of clovers and medicks (see first picture below). The adult aptera of Aphis coronillae (see second picture below) is pinkish brown to brownish green with a more or less shiny black dorsal shield and no wax powdering. The shield extends over segments 1-6 inclusive, but is weakened by membranous lines between some of the anterior segments. The shield is reticulated, a feature formerly only thought to be visible in slide mounted specimens, but also apparent in photos of the live insect. Abdominal tergites 1-4 and 7 regularly bear very protuberant, dome-shaped marginal tubercles, clearly visible in the pictures below (cf. Aphis craccivora where tergites 2-6 are usually without marginal tubercles, or rarely with 1-3 small ones). Nearly all the hairs on the legs are very short. The body length of adult Aphis coronillae apterae is 1.3-2.2 mm.

Aphis coronillae alatae (see third picture above) are reddish brown with bands on most or all abdominal tergites, that on tergite VI being broader and amalgamated with the postsiphuncular sclerites. They have 3-9 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and 0-2 on segment IV. Immatures range from greenish-yellow (the youngest) to reddish brown (fourth instars).

There are two subspecies with specific host-plant associations, but the morphological discriminants for the two subspecies are slight:

  1. Aphis coronillae coronillae (clover aphid) lives on Trifolium species.
  2. Aphis coronillae arenaria (medick aphid) lives on Medicago lupulina.

Aphis coronillae lives on the basal parts of certain Leguminosae / Fabaceae, especially clovers (Trifolium) and medicks (Medicago). It does not host alternate. Sexual forms appear in September. The males are mostly apterous, but are occasionally brachypterous or alate. Aphis coronillae is usually attended by and sheltered by ants. It is widely distributed in Europe, and is also found in west Siberia.

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Aphis craccae (Tufted vetch aphid) Europe, Asia, North America

Adult apterae of Aphis craccae (see first picture below) are covered in a dense layer of grey wax powder (cf. Aphis craccivora, where the adult apterae have little or no wax on the dorsal surface, although immatures are waxed). Under the wax they have an extensive solid black shield on the dorsal abdomen which covers the whole width of tergites V and VI, and normally extends forward over the central areas of tergites I-IV, often with lateral extensions towards the intersegmental muscle sclerites. Their antennae are about the same length as the body, and the terminal process is 1.70-2.4 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis adesmiae, in South America, whose terminal process is 1.40-1.69 times the length of that segment). The dark siphunculi are 0.7-1.0 times as long as the dark, elongate, cauda (cf. Aphis craccivora, which has the siphunculi 1.1- 2.2 times the length of the cauda, and Aphis pseudocomosa, whose siphunculi are 1.1-1.6 times the caudal length). Abdominal tergite VIII usually has more than 2 hairs. The body length of adult Aphis craccae apterae is 1.9-2.8 mm.

All images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

The alatae (see second picture above) are also densely covered in grey wax powder, and have 5-13 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III.

Aphis craccae lives in dense, ant-attended colonies (see third picture above) on the terminal growth, flowers and seed-pods of vetches (Vicia spp.), especially tufted vetch (Vicia cracca). Oviparae and alate males appear in September. The species is widely distributed in Europe, eastward to China, Japan and Korea. It has also been introduced into north-eastern USA and Canada.

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Aphis craccivora (Cowpea aphid) Cosmopolitan

The aptera of Aphis craccivora (see first picture below) is dark brown with (usually) a very solid black shiny carapace from the metanotum to abdominal tergite 6. Many North American and a few Southern European Aphis craccivora populations have a reduced sclerotic shield. The longest hair on the third antennal segment is usually 0.5-0.6 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis pseudocomosa which has the longest hair on the third antennal segment 0.67-1.38 times the basal diameter of that segment). Their siphunculi very rarely have any trace of constriction before the flange, and are 1.2-2.2 times the length of the cauda (cf. Aphis loti which has the siphunculi 0.8-1.5 times the length of the cauda). The cauda has the distal part tapering and is 0.09-0.13 times body length (cf. Aphis loti which has the cauda finger-like, almost parallel sided on the distal part). The body length is 1.16-2.3 mm.

Aphis craccivora alatae (see second picture above) have the dorsal shield broken up into segmental bands with large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites. Immatures are lightly dusted in wax.

Aphis craccivora prefers plants in the Fabaceae (beans, peas and groundnuts), but it is highly polyphagous and has been found on many plant species. It feeds on the young shoots, leaves, flowers and fruits, and is strongly ant attended. In most places reproduction is entirely parthenogenetic with no sexual stage in the life cycle, but sexual morphs have been recorded from Germany and India. Aphis craccivora is a vector of several viruses including broad bean mosaic virus, cucumber mosaic virus and groundnut rosette virus. The cowpea aphid has a cosmopolitan distribution. It is not very common in cool temperate countries, but can be abundant in warm-temperate and tropical regions.

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Aphis crepidis (Hawk's-beard root aphid) Europe, Middle East

Aphis crepidis apterae are dark bluish-green to yellow-green, and are not wax powdered (see first picture below). The dorsum of Aphis crepidis is membranous apart from a rather faint short dusky spinal bar on tergite 8, and marginal tubercles are prominent. The femora and proximal tibial hairs are shorter than the least width of the tibia. The siphunculi are dark. The cauda is dusky and bears 6-11 hairs (cf. Aphis hypochoeridis which has 4-8 caudal hairs). The body length of Aphis crepidis is 1.2-2.0 mm.

Alate Aphis crepidis (see third picture above) are a rather dull green with marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and dusky bands on tergites VII-VIII. Aphis crepidis is very closely related to, and apparently morphologically indistinguishable from, Aphis taraxacicola which feeds on dandelion, not hawksbeard.

The hawksbeard root aphid lives in ant shelters (see first picture on this page) at the base of rough hawksbeard (Crepis biennis), smooth hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris) and beaked hawksbeard (Crepis vesicaria). It does not host alternate and sexual forms have been found in September. Up till the 1980s The species was very little known in Britain (only Cambridge and Derby), but this was largely because the species was overlooked. It has recently been reported from Wales and now (our own observations) from numerous locations in East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire. Aphis crepidis is found throughout Europe, apart from the north, and extends into Iran.

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Aphis cytisorum (Broom aphid, Laburnum aphid) Europe, Asia, North & South America, North Africa

Aphis cytisorum is a very dark green aphid which may appear greyish because of the strong wax secretion (see pictures below). The adult aptera has a dark sclerotized dorsal abdominal shield, which is often rather fragmented and variable in size, and is especially reduced in small specimens. The dark sclerotic areas are strongly reticulate. There are areas of membranous cuticle along the side bounded by the mid-dorsal shield and the intersegmental muscle sclerites. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.97 to 1.3 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HT II). Marginal tubercles may be present. The longest tibial hairs are a little longer than the least width of the hind tibiae. The siphunculi and cauda are dark, but the antennae and tibiae are mostly pale. The siphunculi are 1.2 to 2.2 times as long as the cauda. The body length of apterae is 1.4-2.5 mm.

Alatae (see third picture above) have the dorsal shield broken up into segmental bands, marginal sclerites and postsiphuncular sclerites, with areas of membranous cuticle along side the segmented bands on the abdominal tergites.

Aphis cytisorum is one of three 'black-backed' Aphis species living on woody Fabaceae (the other two are Aphis craccae and Aphis craccivora). It is very similar morphologically to Aphis ulicis (which only feeds on gorse) from which it differs only by the length to basal-width ratio of the apical rostral segment. This ratio is less than 3 for Aphis cytisorum and more than 3 for Aphis ulicis.

There are two subspecies of Aphis cytisorum:

  • Aphis cytisorum sarothamni (broom aphid) which feeds on broom (first picture at top of page).
  • Aphis cytisorum cytisorum (laburnum aphid) which feeds on laburnum (second picture at top of page).

The only morphological difference between these two subspecies relates to the oviparae (see life cycle below).

Aphis cytisorum does not host alternate. The laburnum aphid (Aphis cytisorum cytisorum) lives on the leaves, stems and seed pods of laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides) or Spanish broom (Spartium junceum). The broom aphid (Aphis cytisorum sarothamni) lives on broom (Cytisus scoparius). Both subspecies are usually ant attended. Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis cytisorum is found throughout most of Europe eastward to Russia and Turkey. It is also found in North Africa, China, North America and parts of South America.

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Aphis decepta (Yellow cowparsnip aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis decepta have a yellow body, with the lateral portions of the thorax and small patches on the abdomen immediately posterior to the siphunculi dark brown (note the Aphis decepta pictured below are yellow-green immatures and lack the darker markings - also note they are mixed with grey Aphis fabae immatures). Their antennal tubercles are weakly developed. The antennae are pale basally, shading to brownish by the middle of antennal segment V. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.1-1.4 times as long as the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). There are marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites I & VII. The siphunculi are dark brown, darker and a little longer than the cauda. The cauda has about 12-14 hairs (cf. Aphis gossypii, which also has siphunculi darker than the cauda, but has only 4-7 hairs on the cauda). The anterior half of the subgenital plate has only 2(-3) hairs (cf. Aphis asclepiadis, which usually has more than 2 hairs on the anterior half of the subgenital plate). Immature Aphis decepta are greenish-yellow.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

The alate Aphis decepta (not pictured) has 35-67 rather tuberculate, densely crowded secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III (cf. the alatae of other Aphis species found on Pastinaca, which have fewer than 12 rhinaria on segment III).

Hottes & Frison (1931) first described this aphid from the undersides of the leaves of (non-indigenous) parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) in Illinois, USA. But it has since been found to occur on the undersides of the leaves of the indigenous American cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum = Heracleum maximum) in north eastern USA and in Manitoba and Quebec, Canada. As far as is known, Aphis decepta is monoecious holocyclic. It has not been recorded outside northern USA or Canada.

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Aphis epilobiaria (Waxy willowherb aphid) Europe

The adult aptera of Aphis epilobiaria is a reddish-brown to blackish-brown or blackish green, but the colour is mostly masked by a striking pattern of dense pleural wax bands (see first picture below). These converge on the thorax and posterior tergites to occupy most of the width of the dorsum, leaving a spindle-shaped area of the mid-dorsum without wax. The abdominal dorsum of the apterous Aphis epilobiaria is membranous with only a dusky narrow band across tergite 8 and sometimes 7. There are small marginal tubercles on tergites 1 and 7. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.3-1.6 times the length of segment II of the hind tarsus and has 6 or more subsidiary hairs. The second tarsal joint is almost entirely smooth (cf. Aphis epilobii where it is ridged). The siphunculi are 1.0-1.6 times the length of the cauda and often bear a few fine hairs. The siphunculi are usually quite pale, sometimes a little dusky. The cauda is quite dark. The body length of apterae is 2.2-2.7 mm.

The alate viviparous Aphis epilobiaria (see second picture above) is reddish brown and usually has postsiphuncular and small marginal sclerites but no dorsal cross bands in front of the siphunculi. The ovipara is reddish brown or greenish black with the hind tibia more or less distinctly swollen on the basal half.

The waxy willowherb aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on the shoot and flowers of the great willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) and on other Epilobium species including marsh willowherb (Epilobium palustre), spear-leaved willowherb (Epilobium lanceolatum) and square-stalked willowherb (Epilobium tetragonum). Aphis epilobiaria is not usually ant attended. It is known from Britain and a few western European countries.

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Aphis epilobii (Willowherb aphid) Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis epilobii are dark blackish-green to reddish-brown (see first picture below) which often appears dark-grey to pinkish-brown (see second picture below) because of a rather uniform powdering of wax (cf. Aphis grossulariae which is dull green to light green with only a light wax bloom). The apical rostral segment (R IV+V) is 1.28-1.55 times the length of segment II of the hind tarsus (HT II) (cf. Aphis grossulariae which has R IV+V 1.42-1.68 times the length of HT II). The abdominal dorsum of Aphis epilobii is membranous with only a dusky narrow band across tergite VIII and sometimes VII. There are small conical marginal tubercles on tergites I and VII (visible if you can expand the first micrograph image below), but not on tergites II-VI (cf. Aphis grossulariae which has marginal tubercles on most tergites). The siphunculi and basal parts of the antennae are pale, but the cauda is dusky. The siphunculi are 1-1.6 times the length of the cauda. The body length of Aphis epilobii apterae is 1.3-2.1 mm. Immatures (see second picture below) resemble the adults with blackish-green and reddish-brown forms.

The alate (see third picture above) has marginal, postsiphuncular and small marginal sclerites, but no dorsal cross bands in front of the siphunculi. The antennal terminal process is about 3 times the length of the basal part of antennal segment 6. Antennal segment III has 30-32 secondary rhinaria, segment IV has 17, and V has 7-9. Immatures resemble the adults with blackish-green and reddish-brown forms.

The willowherb aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on broad-leaved willowherb (Epilobium montanum) or more rarely other Epilobium species. Aphis epilobii is not usually ant attended. It is widely distributed throughout Europe.

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Aphis epipactis (Helleborine aphid) Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis epipactis are very dark green, almost sooty black, as in the first picture below. The terminal process of antennal segment VI is 2.7-2.9 times the length of its base. The femora and tibial hairs are much longer than the least width of the tibiae, making Aphis epipactis a member of the "long-haired black-aphis group", which includes Aphis ilicis and Aphis viburni. The siphunculi are 1.0-1.1 times the length of the cauda. The body length is 1.43-1.69 mm (estimated allowing for effects of dehydration on the type specimens).

Note: There are no satisfactory distinguishing characters from other members of the "long-haired black aphis group". Aphis epipactis may well be synonymous with Aphis viburni, or possibly Aphis ilicis.

If we accept Aphis epipactis is a valid species, it only feeds on helleborines, especially marsh helleborine (Epipactis palustris). If Aphis epipactis is instead Aphis viburni, which is using helleborines (Epipactis) as a summer host, then its winter host is Viburnum opulus. Sexual forms presumably develop in autumn. Aphis epipactis has been recorded in several counties in Britain and over most of Europe.

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Aphis evonymi (Spindle aphid) Europe

The adult aptera of Aphis evonymi (see first picture below) is a reddish- to chocolate-brown with broad dark sclerotic bands across the pronotum and mesonotum, and narrower ones across abdominal tergites 7-8. It consistently lacks marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites 2-4 (cf. the similarly coloured Aphis ilicis and Aphis viburni which tend to have marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites 2-4). The longest hairs on the third antennal segment is 2-3 times as long as the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis fabae which has longest hairs on the third antennal segment 0.6-2.4 times as long as the basal diameter of that segment). The middle and hind femora are mostly dark and tibiae are darkened on the apical quarter. The body length of Aphis evonymi adult aptera is 1.7-2.9 mm.

Alate Aphis evonymi have a rather well developed series of transverse segmental bands on abdominal tergites as well as larger marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites (see picture above right). Immature forms are a lighter reddish-brown and may have discrete pleural wax spots (see second picture above). From our observations the wax spots are much more prominent in alatiform immatures than in future apterous forms.

The spindle aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on spindle (Euonymus europaeus). Apterous males and oviparae are produced in the autumn, and eggs are laid on the stems of spindle. Aphis evonymi occurs in several European countries.

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Aphis euphorbiae (Spurge aphid) Europe, Asia, North America

Aphis euphorbiae apterae are dark blackish brown and are rather strongly wax powdered. They have a dark dorsal shield (clearly visible in the first picture below) which is confined to a rather rectangular mid-dorsal area. The cauda is rather slender and tapering. Marginal tubercles are protuberant and often present on abdominal tergite 6. Aphis euphorbiae body length is 1.7-2.1 mm.

Guest images copyright Jivko Nakev, all rights reserved.

Aphis euphorbiae alates have short bands across abdominal tergites 6-8 as well as marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites. Most of the rest of the dorsum is membranous.

Aphis euphorbiae feeds on the upper parts of the stems of Euphorbia cyparissias and a few other Euphorbia species where it is usually ant attended (see second picture above). It is usually assumed that the species produces sexual forms in autumn, but such forms have apparently not yet been described. Reproduction may therefore be entirely parthenogenetic. The spurge aphid is hardly known in Britain, but is found throughout mainland Europe, the Mediterranean basin, Africa, and South-west and Central Asia. Aphis euphorbiae has been accidentally introduced to Australia and North America.

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Aphis fabae (Black Bean aphid) Cosmopolitan

The Aphis fabae adult aptera is matt black or very dark brown, sometimes with a distinct greenish hue. It has a variable abdominal sclerotic pattern - confined to abdominal tergites 6-8 in smaller apterae, but broken bands are present in larger ones. Marginal tubercles are protuberant but small. The antennae usually have segments III-IV and the base of V quite pale. The longest femoral and tibial hairs are longer than the least width of the tibia. Their siphunculi and cauda are dark. The black bean aphid immatures (see second picture below) often have discrete white wax spots, as do sometimes the adults. The body length of Aphis fabae adult apterae is 1.2-2.9 mm.

There are several subspecies of Aphis fabae:

  • The nominate subspecies Aphis fabae fabae overwinters on spindle (Euonymus europaeus) and host alternates to broad beans (Vicia faba). It also migrates to poppies (Papaver spp.) as well as Chenopodium species and beet (Beta vulgaris). Aphis fabae fabae will not colonise thistle (Cirsium) nor black nightshade (Solanum).
  • Aphis fabae cirsiiacanthoidis overwinters on spindle and host alternates to thistle (Cirsium arvense).
  • Aphis fabae mordvilkoi overwinters on spindle (Euonymus europaeus) and host alternates to burdock (Arctium).
  • Aphis evonymi does not host alternate, but spends all year on spindle (Euonymus europaeus). Some authorities have assigned this aphid full species status as Aphis evonymi, but other still treat it as a subspecies Aphis fabae evonymi
  • Aphis solanella overwinters on spindle (Euonymus europaeus), and host alternates to black nightshade (Solanum nigrum). It used to be called Aphis fabae solanella, but has now been assigned full species status.

Although one can tentatively assign Aphis fabae on the plants above to a particular subspecies, they also colonise a huge range of other plants (for example many umbellifers) which are not associated with a particular subspecies. Also some hosts, such as docks (Rumex spp), seem to be acceptable to all Aphis fabae subspecies.

The black bean aphid host alternates between spindle (Euonymus europaeus) as the primary host and many herbaceous plant species as secondary hosts. Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis fabae is found throughout the northern continents, and has been introduced to many tropical and subtropical countries where it may reproduce parthenogenetically all year round. In Europe there is a complex of sibling species or subspecies which can only be distinguished by their choice of secondary host coupled with transfer experiments.

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Aphis farinosa (Small Willow aphid) North & South America, Europe, Asia

Aphis farinosa apterae are quite small, and are green mottled with yellow-orange. The antennal terminal process is 1.6-2.3 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The abdominal dorsum in apterae is usually entirely pale and membranous with fairly numerous protuberant, hemispherical or teat-shape marginal tubercles on the tergites. The siphunculi are long and pale with a slightly dusky tip and the cauda is distinctly darker. The siphunculi of the aptera are 1.74-2.95 times as long as the cauda. The body length of Aphis farinosa apterae is 1.6-2.5 mm.

The vivivparous alates (see second picture above) are dark green, and their siphunculi are more or less dusky. Immature alatae (mainly fourth instar) often have white wax spots on the dorsum. Their oviparae are dull green, but the young nymphs and the apterous males are reddish orange.

The small willow aphid is fairly common, forming dense colonies on the young shoots of willows (Salix spp.) especially sallow (Salix caprea) in spring and early summer. Aphis farinosa do not host alternate and are attended by ants. They have a sexual stage in the life cycle, with oviparae and males appearing from July onwards, although occasionally populations of viviparae persist until August or September. Aphis farinosa occurs throughout northern temperate parts of the world (North America, Europe & Asia) and in South America (Argentina).

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Aphis folsomii (Virginia creeper aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis folsomii are dark reddish brown, with dark or dusky siphunculi (see first picture below). Their antennal tubercles are weakly developed. The antennae of apterae are pale, apart from segment VI which is dark. The longest hairs on the third antennal segment are less than 3.5 times the basal diameter of the base of antennal segment III. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) has 8-10 accessory hairs (cf. Aphis illinoisensis and Aphis fabae, which each have only 2 accessory hairs on RIV+V). Abdominal tergites 1 and 7 always have marginal tubercles. Their legs are dark apart from the apical parts of the tibiae. The cauda is short and broad, about as long as its basal width, with more than 20 hairs (cf. Aphis illinoisensis and Aphis fabae, which each have the cauda much longer than its basal width, with 7-19 hairs). The body length of adult apterae is 1.6-1.8 mm. Immature Aphis folsomii are light reddish brown with pale siphunculi.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Alate Aphis folsomii (see second picture above) are reddish brown with a black head, thorax, antennae and legs and siphunculi. The antennal segments III, IV and V of alatae are all about the same length (cf. Aphis illinoisensis, which has antennal segment III much longer than IV or V).

Aphis folsomii feeds on Parthenocissus species such as Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata). They form dense clusters along the midribs of leaflets and petioles, where they are attended by ants (see third picture above). The ant Crematogaster ashmeadi has been recorded as attending Aphis folsomii on Parthenocissus quinquefolia. This aphid species is never abundant enough to be conspicuous, and is not likely to become of economic importance.The sexual forms have been described. The Virginia Creeper Aphid is widely distributed in the USA east of the Rocky Mountains.

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Aphis forbesi (Strawberry root louse) North & South America, Europe, Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis forbesi (see first picture below) are dark bluish green, sometimes with bluish-yellow mottling. The antennal tubercles are weakly developed. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.6-1.9 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) (cf. Aphis fabae & Aphis gossypii which both have a shorter RIV+V at 0.9-1.5 times the length of HTII). The cauda is tongue-shaped and longer than its basal width. The body length of adult apterae is 1.0-1.9 mm. Immature Aphis forbesi (see second picture below) are yellowish green.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Strawberry root louse alatae have dark dorsal abdominal cross-bands on tergites I, VII & VIII and only 1-4 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III.

Aphis forbesi lives in colonies on the roots, shoots and bases of leaf petioles of strawberry (Fragaria spp.) where it is attended by ants. The ants build nests around the aphid colony, which makes fruit harvest and chemical control difficult (Araujo et al., 2013). Aphis forbesi does not host alternate. Sexuales, oviparae and apterous males, are produced in autumn. This aphid is native to North America, but was introduced into Europe about 1928. It is now also found in Kazakhstan, west Siberia, Japan and South America.

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Aphis frangulae (Alder buckthorn - willowherb aphid) Europe, Asia

Aphis frangulae apterae are generally dark green or blue-green, sometimes mottled (see pictures of apterae on the primary and secondary hosts below). Their abdominal sclerotic pattern is variable - it is usually confined to abdominal tergites 6-8 in smaller apterae, but broken bands are present in larger adults. The siphunculi are dusky or dark and are 0.85-2.16 times the length of the pale or dusky cauda. The body length of Aphis frangulae apterae is 0.9-2.4 mm.

Aphis frangulae alatae have 3-16 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment, 0-8 on the fourth segment and 0-3 on the fifth.

In Europe, several subspecies are recognised:

  • Aphis frangulae frangulae is the nominate subspecies which, in Europe, host alternates between alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula = Frangula alnus) as the primary host and rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium) as the secondary host. Additional secondary hosts are shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) and yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris).
  • Aphis frangulae beccabungae host alternates from alder buckthorn to speedwell (Veronica beccabunga) and to potato (Solanum tuberosum) and various Lamiaceae.
  • Aphis frangulae testacea (only found in Germany) is monoecious on alder buckthorn.

Outside Europe, and for some populations within Europe, populations can usually only be identified as "Aphis frangulae group". Sexual forms occur in autumn. The closely related Aphis gossypii (cotton or cucumber aphid) is a cosmopolitan polyphagous pest of warm climates, and is a greenhouse pest in cooler climates.

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Aphis genistae (Dyer's broom aphid) Europe, West Asia, North America

Adult apterae of Aphis genistae are black, and have a black cauda and siphunculi, but are quite thickly coated with wax meal. The hairs on antennal segment III are 0.8-1.3 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis ononidis, which has shorter hairs on that segment - only 0.3-0.4 times the basal diameter of that segment). The dorsal abdomen has extensive dark sclerotisation (cf. Aphis fabae, which only has a few small dark spots anterior to the siphunculi). Their siphunculi are quite short, only 0.5-0.8 times as long as the cauda (cf. Aphis craccivora and Aphis cytisorum, which both have siphunculi 1.1-2.2 times the length of their cauda). The body length of adult Aphis genistae apterae is 1.4-2.6 mm.

Both images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Aphis genistae alatae are black and heavily-waxed like their apterae, and have 4-8 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment.

Aphis genistae lives on various broom species such as petty whin (Genista anglica), winged broom (Genista saggitalis) and dyer's broom (Genista tinctoria) and on Spanish broom (Spartium junceum). Some authors indicate a somewhat wider range of host plants including Laburnum, Cytisus, Petteria, Sophora. Aphis genistae colonies are sometimes attended by ants. This species remains on broom all year, with no host alternation. Oviparae and alate males in develop in September. Aphis genistae is native to Europe, eastward to Ukraine and Turkey. It has also been present in North America for many years, having been first recorded in Massachusetts in 1925.

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Aphis gerardiae (False foxglove aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis gerardiae (see first picture below) are blackish-brown with black siphunculi and cauda. Their antennae are mostly pale, other than antennal segments I & II and the bases and apices of other segments which are dark. The hind tibiae are uniformly dark, or only a little paler in middle (cf. Aphis fabae, which has mostly pale hind tibiae, dark only at the ends). Their siphunculi are about 1.5 times as long as the cauda and equal to, or longer than, twice the length of the hind tarsi (exclusive of claws). The cauda has 7-11 hairs (cf. Aphis fabae, whose cauda has 11-24 hairs). The body length of adult apterae is 1.9-2.9 mm. Immature Aphis gerardiae (see second picture below) are reddish brown.

Both images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Aphis gerardiae alatae are black like the adult apterae.

Aphis gerardiae is a specialist on false foxgloves (Agalinis and Aureolaria spp) in the broomrape family (Orobranchaceae). There is no host alternation, and sexual forms are produced in autumn. It is not known whether or not the species is ant-attended. The false foxglove aphid is found in Canada and in eastern USA from New York state southwards to Florida and westwards to Kansas.

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Aphis glycines (Soybean aphid) Asia, North America

Adult apterae of Aphis glycines (see first picture below) range from pale yellow to lime green in colour, commonly green mottled with pale yellow. On late season soybeans, some aphids may be much smaller and paler than usual. The insect's head is pale, as are the basal antennal segments, and the antennal tubercles are weakly developed. The siphunculi are dark except at their bases (cf. Aphis nasturtii which has the siphunculi usually rather pale, only darker at the apices). The cauda is very pale, usually with a slight midway constriction, more than 3 times longer than its narrowest width at midlength, and usually bearing 7-9 hairs (cf. Aphis gossypii for which the cauda is pale to dusky, without a constriction, less than 3 times longer than its width at midlength, and usually bearing 5-6 hairs). The body length of adult Aphis glycines apterae is 1.2-1.7 mm.

First image above copyright Ho Jung Yoo, Purdue University; all use allowed providing attribution given.
Second image above copyright Christina DiFonzo under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States license.

Aphis glycines is native to Asia where its main primary hosts are Dahurian buckthorn (Rhamnus davurica) and Japanese buckthorn (Rhamnus japonica). Aphis glycines host alternates mainly to soybean and other wild Glycine species, and a few other members of the Fabaceae. In July 2000 it was first found in North America in Wisconsin. It rapidly proved to be highly invasive and by 2007 had been found in 20 states. In America the main primary hosts are purging buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and alderleaf buckthorn (Rhamnus alnifolia). Aphis glycines has not been found utilising the European alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) in America despite it being another common invasive common in America, which may explain why Aphis glycines has not yet been found in Europe. On soybean Aphis glycines feeds on the stems and leaf undersides. In Asia it is found in China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. In America Aphis glycines is found primarily in the middle to high latitudes in the midwest of the USA, and in Ontario and Quebec provinces in Canada.

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Aphis gossypii (Melon aphid, Cotton aphid) Cosmopolitan

Wingless females of Aphis gossypii are usually medium-sized and blackish green or green mottled with dark green (see first picture below). In hot conditions or when crowded they are smaller and are a very pale whitish yellow. The dorsum has no dark sclerotized markings. The longest hairs on the third antennal segment are 0.3-0.5 times the basal diameter of that segment. The terminal process of the last antennal segment is 1.7-3.2 times the length of the base of that segment. The apical segment of the rostrum is 1.1 to 1.5 times the length of segment 2 of the hind tarsus. Marginal tubercles are only consistently present on abdominal tergites 1 and 7. The siphunculi are dark. The cauda is usually paler than the siphunculi and bears 4-8 hairs. The body length of adult Aphis gossypii apterae ranges from 0.9-1.8 mm.

Aphis gossypii alates (see second picture above) have 6-12 secondary rhinaria distributed on the third antennal segment and usually none on the fourth.

The melon or cotton aphid is highly polyphagous and does not usually host alternate, reproducing all year round on its chosen host. In temperate climates it is most often seen in glasshouses on cucurbits (cucumbers and marrows) and begonias, and in gardens on ornamental Hypericum species. In the tropics Aphis gossypii is a major pest of cotton. It is distributed almost worldwide, and is particularly abundant in the tropics.

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Aphis grossulariae (Gooseberry - willowherb aphid) Europe, Asia

The adult aptera of Aphis grossulariae (see first picture below) is dull green to dark green and is slightly to moderately wax powdered. The antennae are shorter than the body, and the hairs on the third antennal segment are straight or curved and at most 1-2 times the least width of that segment (cf. the very similar Aphis schneideri which has the hairs on the third antennal segment fine and wavy and conspicuously erect, 1.8-4.0 times the basal diameter of that segment). The abdominal dorsum is entirely membranous or at most has narrow dusky bands across tergites 7 & 8. Aphis grossulariae has marginal tubercles present on at least some of abdominal tergites 2-6 (cf. Aphis epilobii and Aphis epilobiaria which have no marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites 2-6.) The siphunculi and legs are pale except for the tibial apices and tarsi which are dusky. The longest tibial hairs are greater than the least width of the hind tibia. The cauda is pale or slightly dusky. The body length of adult apterae is 1.2-2.1 mm.

The alate (see second picture above) has the head and thorax black, the abdomen green with dark stripes, the siphunculi and antennae dark and the cauda pale. Immature future alatae have paired pale white wax patches on the dorsum. In Europe there is evidence of natural hybridisation with Aphis schneideri.

The gooseberry - willowherb aphid host alternates between gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa) where it curls the leaves and willowherb (Epilobium species). Certain members of the Onagaceae (Clarkia, Fuchsia, Oenothera) can also be used as secondary hosts. Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis grossulariae occurs throughout most of Europe to Russia and central Asia.

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Aphis hederae (Ivy aphid) Cosmopolitan

The apterae of Aphis hederae (see first picture below) are dark greenish or reddish brown although immatures are paler. They are supposedly not waxy, although the immatures here appear to have a wax 'bloom'. The abdominal sclerotic pattern is mostly confined to a band on abdominal tergites 6-8. The body length of Aphis hederae apterae is 1.4-2.5 mm.

The alate ( see second picture above) has strong transverse dark bands on most tergites.

The ivy aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on ivy (Hedera helix) living on the young shoots and foliage (Stroyan, 1984). Aphis hederae can also be found on various house plants in the Araliaceae such a Fatsia and Schefflera. Sexual forms occur in autumn with apterous or alate males. It occurs throughout Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia. It is also recorded from North America, South Africa and New Zealand.

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Aphis hypochoeridis (Cats ear root aphid) Europe

Apterae of Aphis hypochoeridis are bright yellow to pale greenish yellow, often with orange hues (see first picture below). The antennal terminal process is 1.5-2.7 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The abdominal dorsum is entirely pale or with dusky bands across tergites 7-8 only. The siphunculi are dark. They are 3.5-7.1 times their midlength diameters, and 0.9 to 1.6 times the length of the elongated pale or dusky finger-shaped cauda. The body length of adult apterae of Aphis hypochoeridis is 0.7-1.6 mm.

The Aphis hypochoeridis alate (see second picture above) has marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, dusky bands on tergites 7-8, and median sclerites on some or all of tergites 1-6. They have 5-8 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III and 0-4 on antennal segment IV.

The cat's-ear root aphid lives on the root collar, the underside of radical leaves and up the lower part of the stem of Hypochaeris radicata (Cat's Ear). Aphis hypochoeridis do not host alternate. They have a sexual stage in the life cycle with oviparae and males appearing in autumn. They are usually 'tented over' (with earth) by Myrmica or Lasius ants (see below). Aphis hypochoeridis is widely distributed in Britain and throughout Europe.

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Aphis idaei (Small raspberry aphid) Europe, Asia, North America

Viviparous apterae of Aphis idaei are small mottled green and yellow aphids with a rather even wax pulverulence giving an overall pale green colour. The abdominal dorsum in apterae is quite pale. Aphis idaei is characterized by the combination of long very slender dusky siphunculi and a short thick blunt cauda. The siphunculi of Aphis idaei apterae are 2.4-3.3 times as long as the cauda. In midsummer their progeny develop into dwarf apterae which are pale cream and live dispersed between the veins of the underside of the leaves. The body length of apterae is only 1.3-2.2 mm (dwarfs 0.8-0.9 mm).

Alatae (see pictures above) are similarly coloured to the spring apterae, but have dark marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bands across tergites 7-8. Their siphunculi are 2.1-2.7 times the length of the cauda, and the body length is 1.5-1.9 mm.

The small raspberry aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on raspberry (Rubus idaeus) causing strong leaf curl in early summer. It also occurs on loganberry. Aphis idaei considered one of the most damaging pests of raspberry canes (Gordon et al., 1997). Sexual forms occur in autumn with apterous males. It occurs through most of Europe, west Siberia and in New Zealand and North America.

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Aphis ilicis (Holly aphid) Europe, West Asia

Aphis ilicis apterae are dark olive-brown, reddish-brown or greyish-brown. The sclerotic dark banding of the dorsum is variable - it is confined to the latter abdominal tergites in small apterae, but there are broken bands on some anterior tergites in larger apterae. Aphis ilicis siphunculi are black, rather short and slightly tapered distally. The siphunculi are 1.15-1.67 times longer than the dark, blunt, finger-shaped cauda. Aphis ilicis is a member of the Aphis fabae group, so immatures may have white pulverulence. Adult apterae have a body length of 1.7-2.9 mm.

The alate has variable banding on the abdominal dorsum, but when present it is more regular than in the aptera.

The holly aphid lives in dense colonies on young shoots and undersides of young leaves of holly (Ilex aquifolium). Attacked leaves curl towards their undersides (see second picture above). Later in the year, when the leaves have matured, aphids can be found colonizing the berry petioles. Sexual forms with winged males are recorded from July onwards. It is usually attended by ants. Aphis ilicis is widely distributed in western and northern Europe eastward to Turkey.

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Aphis illinoisensis (Grapevine aphid) North & South America, Southern Europe, North Africa, Middle East

Adult apterae of Aphis illinoisensis are quite shiny, varying in colour from reddish brown to almost black (see first two pictures below). The antennal tubercles are weakly developed. Antennal segments III, IV and V are dark at their apices. The antennae are 0.7-0.9 times as long as the body, with the terminal process 1.1-4.0 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) has 2 accessory hairs. The fore-legs have the femora and mid-tibiae pale, but the mid-legs are mainly dark, and the hind tibiae are wholly black (cf. Aphis fabae, Aphis gossypii & Aphis craccivora, which all have the hind tibiae mainly pale with black apices). Their siphunculi are black, curved outwards and quite long, approximately equal in length to the terminal process of antennal segment VI. The cauda is deep brown, distinctly constricted in the middle and is much longer than its basal width (cf. Aphis folsomii, which has a short and broad cauda, about as long as its basal width). The body length of adult apterae is 1.6-2.1 mm. Immature Aphis illinoisensis (see second picture below) are reddish brown with dark siphunculi.

First and third image above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.
Second image above copyright Stan Gilliam under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

The alate Aphis illinoiensis (see third picture above) is similar to the aptera but with all antennal segments equally pigmented, and 5 to 10 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III. The pterostigma is dark.

In North America Aphis illinoisensis has a sexual phase on its primary host, blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium), where it overwinters in the egg stage. In spring/early summer Aphis illinoisensis host alternates to members of the grape family (Vitaceae) such as the fox grape (Vitis labrusca), common grape (Vitis vinifera) and virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). On grapevines it feeds on the lower surface of leaves and on tendrils. The grapevine aphid is native to the Americas being found widely in the USA, central and South America, and locally in Canada. It was introduced into Turkey and the Mediterranean region, where it is now invasive. Aphis illinoisensis was first reported in Tunisia in 2010, and in Spain in 2011. It has also been recorded in Greece, Montenegro, Cyprus, Malta, Israel, Egypt, Algeria, and Libya, as well as in Saudi Arabia. No sexual forms have been found outside of America, so in the areas invaded it is assumed to reproduce parthenogenetically throughout the year.

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Aphis impatientis (Dogwood-balsam aphid) Eastern USA, Canada

Adult apterae of Aphis impatientis (see first picture below) have a black head, siphunculi and cauda, and a purplish brown or brownish abdomen dusted with white wax. Antennal segments I & VI are dusky, and the others pale. The antennae are six-segmented, and shorter than the body (cf. Uroleucon impatiensicolens, Macrosiphum impatientis and other Macrosiphum species on Impatiens, which all have antennae longer than the body). The antennae are without secondary rhinaria. The hairs on antennal segment III are short, usually less than middle diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis maculatae, Aphis fabae, Aphis neogillettei & Aphis salicariae, which all have those hairs longer than the middle diameter of the segment). The rostrum reaches to the mesocoxae. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.7-1.0 times the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) (cf. Aphis nasturtii, which has RIV+V 0.9-1.2 times HTII). Marginal sclerites are pale, but pre-siphuncular and post-siphuncular sclerites are absent. Marginal tubercles are present on abdominal segments I and VII, but absent from II, III, and IV. The siphunculi are dark, curved outwards with flange, much broader at the base than at the apex, and 0.9-1.6 times the caudal length (cf. Aphis cornifoliae on dogwood, which has siphunculi hardly broader at base than apex, and 1.2-2.0 times longer than the cauda). The cauda is dark, thumb-shaped and blunt. The body length of adult Aphis impatientis apterae is 1.0-1.8 mm.

First image above copyright James Bailey, second image copyright Ryan Sorrelis;
both under a Creative Commons License.

The alate vivipara of Aphis impatientis (see second picture above and below) has a black head and thorax, a brown, shiny abdomen with no wax, and dusky wings. The antennae are six-segmented, shorter than body, with all antennal segments dark. Antennal segment III bears 7-17 secondary rhinaria, segment IV has 1-10 (and V has 0), all arranged in a single row. The rostrum does not reach the metacoxae. Marginal tubercles are present on abdominal segments I and VII. Marginal and post-siphuncular sclerites are present and dark. The dorsal abdomen has transverse sclerites on tergites VII, and VIII. The siphunculi are dark, and weakly curved outwards with a flange. The cauda is dark and finger shaped.

Aphis impatientis host alternates from dogwood (Cornus spp.) to jewelweeds (Impatiens spp.) Additional secondary hosts recorded by Lagos-Kutz et al. (2018) include fireweed (Erechtites hieracifolius) and Florida lettuce (Lactuca floridana). The aphids seem to concentrate their feeding sites along the main leaf veins (see top pictures). Sexual morphs have been obtained by transfer to grey dogwood (Cornus racemosa). The dogwood-balsam aphid is found in eastern USA and Canada.

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Aphis intybi (Small chicory aphid) Europe, West Asia, Canada, South America

Adult apterae of Aphis intybi are black and wax-powdered to a greater or lesser extent, giving them a matt grey-black appearance (see first two pictures below) (cf. adult Aphis craccivora, which have a shiny black carapace). The dorsal abdomen has dark markings which are usually fused between segments to form a central patch or shield (cf. Aphis fabae, which has some dark markings on the dorsal abdomen, but they are not fused between segments). The hairs on antennal segment III are 0.25-0.75 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis fabae, which has hairs on antennal segment III 0.8-3.4 times the basal diameter of that segment). The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.1-1.5 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) and usually 1.25-1.75 times the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis craccivora, which has RIV+V 0.7-1.3 times HT II, and usually 0.8-1.2 times the base of antennal segment VI). The siphunculi and cauda are both black. The cauda bears 4-9 hairs (cf. Aphis fabae, which has 11-27 hairs on the cauda). The body length of adult Aphis intybi apterae is 1.2-2.3 mm.

Both images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Alatae have 2-9 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and 0-1 on segment IV.

Aphis intybi does not host alternate, but remains all year on its host plant, chicory (Cichorium spp.). It is found on the young growth of Cichorium intybus in spring, and later at stem bases in ant shelters. Records from other plants are most probably misidentifications. Aphis intybi overwinters as eggs. Sexuales are produced in the autumn, beginning with apterous males. The small chicory aphid is native to Europe and the Mediterranean region - and regarded as invasive in west and central Asia, east to Pakistan. In America Aphis intybi is now known to be invasive in Canada (these observations with specimens in the Canadian National Collection, Footit et al., 2006). It has also been intercepted at ports of entry to the USA (Stoetzel & Russell, 1991), and has been introduced to Argentina and Chile.

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Aphis jacobaeae (Ragwort aphid) Europe, West Asia

Aphis jacobaeae are usually found under ant tenting on ragwort (see first picture below). The apterae are dark green and are not wax powdered (cf. Brachycaudus lateralis which is also found on ragwort under ant tenting, but has a shiny black dorsum). The thorax has rather extensive dark lateral sclerites, whilst the abdomen has small marginal sclerites on tergites 2-4, small sclerites just behind the siphunculi, dark bands across tergites 7-8, sometimes a small median sclerite on 6, and dark intersegmental muscle sclerites. The marginal tubercles are prominent. The siphunculi have a conspicuous apical flange. The legs are dark except for the extreme bases of their femora. This feature will usually distinguish Aphis jacobaeae from Aphis fabae which also occurs on ragwort, but has pale tibiae. The body length of Aphis jacobaeae apterae is 1.8-2.2 mm.

The alate Aphis jacobaeae has a similar pattern of sclerites on the abdomen, but the marginal and post-siphuncular sclerites are larger.

The ragwort aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) living basally or higher on the stem or on the flowers. They are usually attended by ants which may build earth tents over the aphids. Aphis jacobaeae occurs in western and central Europe and into Russia.

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Aphis lambersi (Wild carrot root aphid) Europe

Adult apterae (see first picture below) of Aphis lambersi are blackish-green, dark mottled green, or (less commonly) purplish brown. Aphis lambersi resembles (but is not especially closely related to) other dark green species such as Aphis plantaginis and Aphis violae. The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern consists of a dark band across tergites 7-8, small postsiphuncular sclerites and dark intersegmental sclerites. Marginal tubercles on the aptera are prominent and mostly subconical in shape (see micrograph below). Leg hairs are short, mostly much shorter than the least width of the tibiae. The siphunculi are dark and relatively short being 1.06 - 1.75 times the length of the cauda. The body length of the Aphis lambersi aptera is 1.3 - 2.2 mm.

Alatae (see second picture above) are shining blackish green and have additional marginal sclerites, larger postsiphuncular sclerites and rudimentary bars on tergites 1-2. The males are apterous and the ovipara has slightly thickened hind tibiae.

Wild carrot root aphids live on the root collar or in basal leaf sheaths of wild carrot (Daucus carota) tented over with soil particles and plant debris by ants. Aphis lambersi is widespread and fairly common in southern England, and throughout Europe.

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Aphis lamiorum (Dead-nettle aphid) Europe

Aphis lamiorum cause downward leaf-curl on the shoot apices of dead-nettles (Lamium spp.), and dense colonies may also cause distortion and yellow blotching of the leaves (see first picture below). The adult apterae are dark blue-green to green, usually paler green on the posterior dorsum, and not wax covered, although there may be traces of wax on the dorsal cuticle (see second picture below). The antennal terminal process is 1.8-3.2 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The fused apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.20-1.43 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The abdominal dorsum is membranous, with no sclerotic bands on tergites I-VI, but sometimes with small postsiphuncular sclerites. There are 0-5 marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites II-VI, with a mean of 1.4 (cf. Aphis frangulae which has 0-3 marginal tubercles on those tergites, usually 0). The siphunculi are dark and are 1.67-1.95 the length of the cauda. The body length of the adult aptera is 1.6-2.2 mm. Aphis lamiorum is a member of the Aphis frangulae complex, and difficult to distinguish from other members except by biology and host plant. Specimens can only be accepted as authentic Aphis lamiorum (as opposed to Aphis frangulae beccabungae on its secondary host) if leaf curl is present, and if samples are found early in the year (both were true with our specimens), or contain fundatrices or sexuales.

The Aphis lamiorum alate (see third picture above) has a blue-green abdomen with rather large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites. There are fragmented bands on abdominal tergites I & II, a squarish sclerite on tergite VI and short bars on the posterior tergites. Secondary rhinaria are distributed 6-19 on antennal segment III, and 0-7 on antennal segment IV. As expected, the alate resembles the Aphis frangulae alate.

Aphis lamiorum does not alternate, but remains year-round on dead-nettles (Lamium) species. Sexual forms, with an apterous male, have been found in Britain during August. The species has been recorded widely in Europe, albeit some records may be of the host-alternating Aphis frangulae beccabungae on their summer host.

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Aphis lantanae (Wayfaring Tree aphid) Europe

The aptera of Aphis lantanae is dark greenish-brown, and is not wax-powdered (see first picture below). Larger specimens have dark bands across tergites 6-8 and shorter bars on some or most of the other tergites. Their cauda is rather short and bluntly tapering. The body length of apterae is 1.5-2.1 mm.

The alate of Aphis lantanae (see second picture above) has similar dark bands across most tergites as well as well developed marginal sclerites.

The wayfaring tree aphid does not host alternate. It feeds on wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana) living in curled leaves, on young stems or under senescing leaves. Aphis lantanae is a local species in Britain previously only recorded in Kent and Hertford, and now East Sussex. In continental Europe it has been found in France, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Italy.

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Aphis leontodontis (Hawkbit rootcollar aphid) Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis leontodontis (see first picture below) are greenish black with a brown head and no dark sclerotization on the dorsum (cf. Aphis picridicola, which has a marked dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern). Assuming our pictures do indeed represent Aphis leontodontis (see note below), then there is a faint reddish-brown suffusion of the dorsum around the siphunculi, most noticeable in fourth instar immatures. The antennal terminal process is 2.1-2.6 times the length of base of antennal segment VI. Most hairs on antennal segment III are about 0.6 times the basal diameter of segment III, but a few hairs are frequently up to a little more than 1.0 times the basal diameter (cf. Aphis crepidis, Aphis hypochoeridis and Aphis taraxacicola, which have no long hairs on segment III). The abdomen has conspicuous, well-developed marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites II-IV (sometimes on V), as well as on tergites I and VII. The diameter of the marginal tubercle on tergite VII is 1.6-2.9 times the basal diameter of antennal segment III. The siphunculi are dark and are 1.4-1.8 times the length of the similarly dark cauda. The cauda is finger-shaped (cf. Aphis picridicola and Protaphis terricola, which both have a bluntly triangular cauda). The body length of adult apterae is 1.2-1.7 mm. Immature Aphis leontodontis are similarly coloured to the adult apterae with dark siphunculi.

Note: We cannot confirm our identification in this case as we obtained very few specimens (one adult aptera & a few immatures) for examination under the microscope - albeit the longest hairs on antennal segment III were 0.63 and 0.75 times the basal diameter of that segment. The only likely alternative identities of the aphid we found are Aphis crepidis or Aphis taraxacicola, but these have never previously been reported on Leontodon.

The alatae of Aphis leontodontis (not pictured) have 5-10 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 1-3 on segment IV, and 0-1 on segment V.

Aphis leontodontis is found on hawkweeds (Leontodon spp.) on the undersides of the etiolated basal parts of leaves at soil level and on the surface roots. There is no host alternation, and sexual forms develop in autumn. It is usually attended by ants, often with ant tenting. Aphis leontodontis has been recorded in parts of central and northern Europe (Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Byelorussia, Czech Republic) - but not previously in Britain.

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Aphis longirostris (Sea plantain aphid) Europe, Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis longirostris (see first picture below) are dark green to dull bluish green and are not wax powdered. The abdominal dorsum is entirely membranous, except sometimes for a faint dusky spinal band on tergite 8. The fused apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.45-1.63 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment, markedly longer than is the case with Aphis plantaginis. The siphunculi are 0.94-1.64 times the length of the cauda, somewhat shorter than those of Aphis plantaginis. All the hairs on the legs are shorter than the least width of the hind tibiae, most very much so. The body length of the adult Aphis longirostris aptera is 1.0-1.8 mm.

Aphis longirostris alatae were previously unknown, but we have recently (in July 2016) photographed live alatae of Aphis longirostris at Keyhaven salt marshes in Hampshire (see second picture above). They are very dark green with prominent marginal tubercles.

The sea plantain aphid lives on the root collar and radical leaf bases of sea plantain (Plantago maritima) and buck's horn plantain (Plantago coronopus). They do not host alternate, but remain all year on plantain where they are tented over with sand particles by ants. In autumn they produce apterous males and oviparae. They are widely distributed in coastal counties in Britain, but little recorded. Aphis longirostris have been found in several countries in continental Europe, as well as in west Siberia and Central Asia.

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Aphis loti (Bird's foot trefoil aphid) Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis loti (see first picture below) have a solid shiny black dorsal carapace, extending from the metanotum to abdominal tergite 6 inclusive (cf. Aphis lotiradicis which never has a solid dorsal carapace and varies from being entirely membranous to having transverse bands across all tergites). Note that the black dorsa of adults that have been stored in alcohol turn dark brown rather than black, because one of the dark pigments dissolves in alcohol, turning the alcohol deep purple. This has led many authorities to (wrongly) describe Aphis loti adults as being 'warm dark brown' in life, rather than shiny black; immatures (see second picture above) are, however, reddish brown. Abdominal tergites 2-6 may bear 0-2 (exceptionally 3-4) marginal tubercles (cf. Aphis lotiradicis which has a total of 6-7 marginal tubercles). The apical rostral segment is 0.8-1.1 times as long as the second hind tarsal segment. The siphunculi are roughly imbricate, often with a slight constriction just before the flange. The cauda is rather elongate finger-shaped, not uniformly tapering from base to apex (cf. Aphis craccivora, which has the distal part tapering). The Aphis loti aptera adult body length of is 1.2-2.1 mm.

Aphis loti alates have broad separate bands across most or all abdominal tergites, extending over most of the tergite width, especially from the mid-dorsal tergites backwards. There are also large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites.

Aphis loti lives in the shoot apices and flowers of bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria ) (cf. Aphis lotiradicis which is found on the roots and stems of bird's foot trefoil). It is usually attended by ants, but is not tented by them (cf. Aphis lotiradicis which is tented by ants). Apterous males and oviparae with swollen hind tibiae are produced in the autumn. Aphis loti is widely distributed in Britain and continental Europe.

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Aphis lugentis (American ragwort aphid) North & South America, Southern Europe, Australia

Adult apterae of Aphis lugentis are dull blackish green to dark olive, or dark yellow-brown with a greenish tinge, with entirely dark appendages, often marked with sclerotic bands on tergites VII & VIII. There are 1-11 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 7-11 on segment IV and 0-2 on segment V. The antennal terminal process is usually 1.6-2.1 times the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis senecionis in mid-west USA, which has the terminal processs 1.35-1.55 times the base of that segment). The antennal hairs are pointed, 0.7-1.1 times as long as the basal diameter of antennal segment III. Marginal tubercles are only present on abdominal tergites I & VII (cf. Aphis jacobaea in Europe, and Aphis senecioradicis in western USA, which regularly have marginal tubercles present on tergites II-IV). The tibiae are entirely dark. The siphunculi are cylindrical, with flanges and imbrication, and are generally 1.2-1.5 times the caudal length. The cauda is elongated, nearly parallel-sided, with a tendency to constriction near its base. The cauda bears 6 or 7 hairs on either side, and is broadly rounded at the apex (cf. Aphis senecionis which has a cauda which tapers to an almost pointed apex). The body length of adult Aphis lugentis apterae is 2.0-2.8 mm.

First image above copyright Chieffo, second image copyright Krasik,third image copyright CBG Photography Group all under a Creative Commons License

Aphis lugentis alatae (for clarified mount see third picture above) have the head and thorax black and the abdomen blackish-green. Secondary rhinaria on the antennae are round, medium in size, scattered along the entire length of the segments, there are 19-24 on segment III, 7-11 on IV and none on V. There are marginal tubercles present, especially on tergites I and VII. Oviparae have the hind tibiae distinctly swollen and thickly covered along almost their entire length with moderately large, round, flat rhinaria. Males are usually alate, but occasionally apterous, with rhinaria on antennal segments III, IV and V.

Aphis lugentis is found on the leaves, stems and roots of several Senecio and Erigeron species, where it can form dense colonies. It is is often attended by ants (see picture above), much like the the similar European ragwort aphid Aphis jacobaeae. Populations are holocyclic, with oviparae and alate males in autumn. The species is native to the USA (except the north-east), Mexico and western Canada. It has proved to be invasive in recent years, having been found in South America, in southern France and Tunisia and in Australia. In Argentina Aphis lugentis has been found colonising some endemic Asteraceae, and has also been observed to be displacing native Senecio-feeding Aphis species.

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Aphis lupini (Western American lupin aphid) Western USA

Adult apterae of Aphis lupini are dusky olive to greenish black, shading to brown or black on the head. The legs are mostly light brown, and the siphunculi, anal plate, genital plate and cauda are dark. The antennae are rather uniformly dark, although sometimes the base of segment III is pale or dusky (cf. various polyphagous Aphis spp. whose segments III-V are mainly pale). The terminal process is less than twice as long as the base of antennal segment VI, and shorter than segment III. The rostrum reaches to between the second and third pairs of coxae. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is acute and quite long, 1.2-1.4 times the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) (cf. Aphis lupinehansoni in northwestern USA on Lupinus, which has RIV+V blunter, and about the same length as HTII). There are sclerotized dark dorsal bands on abdominal VII and VIII. The siphunculi are rather closely imbricated, cylindrical or slightly larger at bases, and with no polygonal reticulation (cf. Macrosiphum albifrons, Macrosiphum euphorbiae and Macrosiphum zionense on Lupinus, which all have a subapical zone of polygonal reticulation). The cauda is elongate, tapering, acute at the tip, and with only a slight constriction near the base; it is unusually hairy bearing 6-10 hairs on each side. The body length of adult Aphis lupini apterae is 2.0-3.0 mm. Newly deposited immatures are yellowish-brown; older immatures are green.

First image above copyright Andrew Jensen, second image copyright CBG Photography Group,
both under a Creative Commons License.

Alate viviparae of Aphis lupini are similar in colour and size to the aptera, or slightly smaller. Antennal segment III bears 3-6 round, flat secondary rhinaria, with none on segment IV. The veins of the forewings are darkened, and the pterostigma is dusky yellowish.

Aphis lupini feeds on the leaves and stems of silvery lupin (Lupinus argenteus =decumbens). They are monoecious holocyclic, with small apterous males (see small aphid on back of female in picture above). Knowlton (1935) noted that whenever he found this species in Utah, apterous viviparous females were present in abundance. Jensen in Aphidtrek comments that the species appears to go through periods of abundance, but then for years afterwards seems to be incredibly rare. The Western American lupin aphid is found in the western states of the USA.

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Aphis maculatae (Spotted poplar aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis maculatae are brownish black, with black siphunculi and cauda, and a paler head, legs and antennae. The body is marked with conspicuous patches of white wax powder on the lateral areas and along broken dorsal bands. The antennal tubercles are undeveloped. The antennae have numerous conspicuous setae as long as, or longer than, the width of the segments of the antennae, and antennal segment III has 15-22 secondary rhinaria over the distal 0.8 of its length. The tibiae have numerous long, fine hairs. Their siphunculi and cauda are black (cf. Aulacorthum solani & Macrosiphum euphorbiae, which also occur on the primary host, Cornus, but have pale siphunculi and cauda). The body length of adult Aphis maculatae apterae is 1.7-1.8 mm. Immatures (see second picture below) are light rusty brown, mostly covered with white wax powder patches with only the mid-dorsum of abdominal tergites II and III, and around the bases of the siphunculi, wax-free.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

The alate Aphis maculatae (see second pictures above) has a black head and thorax, and the abdomen is blackish brown. There are powdered wax spots on the lateral areas anterior to the siphunculi, and dorsal pairs on abdominal tergites I, IV, VII and VII. Their antennae are dusky throughout.

Aphis maculatae overwinter in the egg stage on red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea =Cornus stolonifera). Their eggs hatch in spring, and populations develop on the Cornus. In late spring to early summer alatae develop which host alternate to various poplar species (Populus spp.), where they sometimes form large colonies on twigs and leaves. It may persist (possibly asexually) on the latter. The distribution of Aphis maculatae is transcontinental in Canada and northern United States, north to Yellowknife, south in mountains to Colorado and Pennsylvania.

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Aphis mirifica (Dark green willowherb aphid) Northern Europe, North Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis mirifica (see picture of colony below) are mottled bluish-green or yellowish-green with black siphunculi. Their antennae are mainly pale, with only segments I, II, and distal portion of the antenna dark; the terminal process is 1.6-2.2 times the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis frangulae, whose terminal process is 1.9-3.0 times the base; & cf. Aphis praeterita, which has a terminal process 3.3-4.7 times its base). The apical rostral segment (R IV+V) is 0.98-1.25 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment, and bears only 2 accessory hairs. The dorsum is membranous with narrow pale cross bars occasionally present on tergites VII and VIII. The abdomen has marginal tubercles on tergites I & VII, and frequently also on some of tergites II-VI (cf. Aphis frangulae, which very rarely has marginal tubercles on tergites II-VI). The siphunculi are imbricate, 0.9-1.4 times as long as the cauda. The siphunculi are less than twice as long as the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis frangulae, which has the siphunculi at least twice as long as the base). The cauda is slightly constricted in the middle and bears 5-11 hairs. The body length of adult Aphis mirifica apterae is 1.2-2.2 mm.

Image above copyright Pierre Duhem on CC BY-NC creative commons licence.

Aphis mirifica alatae have 6-9 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 0-1 on segment IV, and none on V. There are marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites on the abdomen, short cross bars on tergites VII and VIII, and a dorsal sclerite on VI. The siphunculi are shorter than 1.5 times the base of antennal segment VI.

Aphis mirifica is found on the flowerheads, stems, stem base and undersides of leaves Epilobium angustifolium. The leaves may be curled. When on the upper parts of the plant, the aphids are usually dark green as in the picture above. When they are on stem or below ground level the aphids may be yellowish. The colonies are nearly always ant-attended, and are often ant-tented when low down on the stem. The species is monoecious holocyclic, with apterous males. Aphis mirifica mainly occur in northern Europe, Russia and Kazakhstan, but are also recorded from Italy.

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Aphis nasturtii (Buckthorn - Potato aphid) Cosmopolitan

The Aphis nasturtii aptera is rather bright pale green to yellowish-green in life and is not wax-powdered (see yellow aptera below in a mixed species colony of Aphis nasturtii and Aphis fabae). The abdominal dorsum is pale and membranous without dark bands or sclerites. The antenna barely exceeds half the body length. The siphunculi are usually rather pale sclerotic becoming a little darker towards the apex. The legs are dusky or rather pale - the apices of the tibiae are slightly darker as can be seen in the micrograph ventral view below. The body length of buckthorn - potato aphid apterae is 1.1-2.4 mm.

Aphis nasturtii alates (not shown) have some variably developed dorsal bands, but are always more lightly marked than Aphis frangulae alates. Immature Aphis nasturtii are green (see second picture above).

The buckthorn - potato aphid host alternates between common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) or alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus) as the primary host and many herbaceous plant species as secondary hosts, the most economically important of which is potato (Solanum tuberosum). Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis nasturtii is now of almost world-wide distribution.

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Aphis neilliae (Ninebark aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis neilliae (see first picture below) are dark olive-green or black (see first picture below), or sometimes reddish brown (see second picture below). The antennal tubercles are weakly developed. Their antennal hairs are long and fine, with the longest on antennal segment III being 2.3-3.5 times the basal diameter of that segment. Abdominal tergite VIII has a dark cross-band and bears 6-8 hairs. The siphunculi and cauda are uniformly dark. The siphunculi are tapering, being slightly swollen at the base. The cauda is short, tapering from a broad base to a rounded apex. The body length of adult Aphis neilliae apterae is 1.3-1.8 mm.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Immature Aphis neilliae (see pictures below) are dull green or reddish brown, with an indistinct pale spinal stripe. Alatae (see below) are blackish and have 25-37 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 14-23 on segment IV, and 7-15 on segment V.

Aphis neilliae feeds on the leaves and stems of the ninebark shrub (Physocarpus opulifolius) and related Physocarpus species. It does not host alternate, remaining all year on Physocarpus. Sexual forms with apterous males develop in autumn, and the species overwinters in the egg stage. In Illinois the species is at times extremely abundant on the undersides of the leaves - and on terminal portions of the new growth of nine-bark used in ornamental plantings. Aphis neilliae is widely distributed throughout North America.

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Aphis neogillettei (Red-osier dogwood aphid) North America

Aphis neogillettei live in curled leaf pseudogalls (see first picture below) on red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea = Cornus stolonifera). Their adult apterae are dark olive-green with some red-brown mottling and a more or less dense covering of grey wax powder (see second picture below). The siphunculi, cauda and the apices of the antennae, femora and tibiae are dark (cf. Aphis nigratibialis, which has the tibiae uniformly dark). The antennal terminal process is 1.1-2.1 times the length of the base of segment VI. The hairs on antennal segment III of Aphis neogillettei are long, clearly exceeding the mid-diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis spiraecola, Aphis asclepiadis, Aphis gossypii, Aphis cornifoliae and Aphis impatientis, which all have hairs on that segment short, shorter or equal to the mid-diameter of that segment). Antennal segment III has no secondary rhinaria (cf. Aphis viburniphila, which has 15-23 secondary rhinaria on antennal segments III). The dorsal hairs on abdominal tergites I-VI are usually long, more than 40 µm. Abdominal tergite VIII has 4-6 hairs (cf. Aphis salicariae, which has 6-12 hairs on tergite VIII). The siphunculi are often curved outwards distally, and are about 5 times longer than their width at base. The cauda has 6-11 hairs. The body length of adult apterae is 1.0-1.4 mm. Immature Aphis neogillettei, especially fourth instar alatoid nymphs, have serial white wax markings on the dorsum.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

The alate Aphis neogillettei (see first picture below) has the head and thorax black, the abdomen dark olive-green without markings - and (except for the base of antennal segment III) the antennae, siphunculi and cauda are dusky. The legs are mainly pale brownish, but the tarsi, the tibiae, and the femora apices are black.

Aphis neogillettei forms dense colonies on red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea). It is a monophagous (= non-host-alternating) member of the asclepiadis group described by Lagos et al. (2014). This group comprises ten species (Aphis asclepiadis, cornifoliae, decepta, impatientis, neogillettei, nigratibialis, salicariae, saniculae, thaspii, viburniphila) five of which have Cornus as their primary or only host. Sexual forms of Aphis neogillettei develop in autumn. The males are apterous, olive-brown with light yellowish brown appendages. The apterous ovipara is brownish olive-green, but the middle of the dorsum appears yellowish to golden (see second picture above) due to eggs showing through the body wall. The red-osier dogwood aphid overwinters as eggs - which are golden brownish yellow when newly laid, but darken to shining black. Aphis neogillettei is widely distributed in North America.

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Aphis nerii (Oleander aphid) Cosmopolitan

Adult and and immature apterae of Aphis nerii are bright yellow-orange or lemon-yellow, with dark antennae. The antennal terminal process is 3.4-4.7 times the length of the base of the sixth antennal segment. The abdominal dorsum is entirely membranous. The legs including the hind tibiae are dark (cf. Aphis asclepiadis and several polyphagous Aphis species which have the hind tibiae pale for more than half their length). The rather long siphunculi and finger-shaped cauda are black, and the siphunculi are 1.7 - 2.7 times as long as the cauda. The body length of adult Aphis nerii apterae is 1.3-1.7 mm. The pictures below show live immatures on one of their prefered hosts, milkweed (an Asclepias species).

Both images copyright Alan Outen, all rights reserved.

Aphis nerii alatae (see second picture above) have large black postsiphuncular sclerites and smaller, often pale and inconspicuous marginal sclerites, but no mid-dorsal bands.

Aphis nerii is a specialized feeder on oleander (Nerium oleander), but may occur on other Apocynaceae species - especially Dregea sinensis and milkweeds (Asclepidaceae) where it forms large colonies on growing shoots and along midribs of leaves. Aphis nerii is regarded as polyphagous: It has been reported feeding on 16 other plant families, including the Asteraceae, Convolvulaceae and Euphorbiaceae - albeit sometimes as overflow hosts. It is anholocyclic virtually everywhere except, perhaps, Japan. Aphis nerii is distributed more or less worldwide in warmer climates. It is also found in protected environments (glasshouses) in temperate countries, and occasionally 'in the field'.

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Aphis newtoni (Buckthorn - Potato aphid) Europe, Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis newtoni (see first two pictures below) range from pale reddish brown to dark greenish black. The terminal process is 2.8-3.6 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The fused apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is relatively short at 0.86-0.98 times as long as the second hind tarsal segment. The dorsal sclerotic pattern is similar to that of others of the Aphis fabae 'black aphid' group - namely transverse bands on tergites 7-8, marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and some paired spinal sclerites on tergites 1-6. Marginal tubercles are protuberant and conspicuous on most or all abdominal tergites and are visible in the first picture of the live aphid below (cf. Aphis fabae, which has marginal tubercles present on tergites I & VII, but small or absent on tergites II-IV). The hairs on the femora and tibiae (see micrographs below of apterae in alcohol) are almost all much longer than the least width of the tibiae. The siphunculi are dark and are 0.92-1.55 times the length of the cauda. The dark cauda is tongue-shaped, much longer than its basal width (cf. Dysaphis tulipae, which has the cauda helmet-shaped, no longer than its basal width). The body length of the Aphis newtoni aptera is 1.78-2.15 mm.

The alatae of Aphis newtoni (see third picture above) are similar to the apterae, but with larger sclerotic bands and more protuberant marginal tubercles. Immatures, especially alatoid fourth instars, often have paired pleural wax spots.

The Iris aphid is found in large ant-attended colonies on iris, often the yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus). It feeds low down on leaf blades and later on the young flower stalks. Oviparae and apterous males are produced in autumn. Aphis newtoni is distributed across Europe (except Scandinavia), and in Korea and Mongolia.

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Aphis ochropus (Yellow teasel aphid) Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis ochropus are yellow, yellowish-green or greenish yellow. The terminal process of antennal segment VI is 2.9-3.7 times the length of the base of that segment. The fused terminal segments of the rostrum (RIV+V) are 1.4-1.8 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII).The siphunculi are dark and are 2.00-2.86 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is pale (although in some of our specimens it appears dusky) with 7 hairs. The body length of the aptera of Aphis ochropus is 1.2-2.0 mm.

Alates of Aphis ochropus have 10-11 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment, and 2-3 rhinaria on the fourth segment.

The yellow teasel aphid does not host alternate. Aphis ochropus feeds on the basal leaflets and subterranean parts of teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris). It is attended by ants usually Lasius species. The species was first recorded in Britain in south Wales in 2009. Our finding of this species in East Sussex in July 2015 was the first record of the species in England. It is otherwise known mainly from central and eastern Europe.

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Aphis odinae (Mango aphid) Southern Asia, Africa, Southern Europe,

Adult apterae of Aphis odinae are usually grey-brown to reddish-brown (see first picture below) but, in east Asia, a dark green form also occurs. Both their siphunculi and cauda are dark. The antennal terminal process is 2.5-3.0 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis aurantii and Aphis citricidus, which have the terminal process 3.5-5.0 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI). A stridulatory apparatus is present, comprising a pattern of ridges on the ventro-lateral areas of abdominal sternites V and VI, and a row of short, peg-like hairs on the hind tibia. The siphunculi are only 0.4-0.6 times as long as the cauda (cf. Aphis aurantii which has the siphunculi 0.9 - 1.5 times as long as the cauda). The body length of adult Aphis odinae apterae is 1.3-2.4 mm.

First image above by permission, copyright Lu Zhaozhi, all rights reserved.
Second image above by permission, copyright Sunil Joshi & Poorani, J. Aphids of Karnataka (accessed 12/2/20).

Alate Aphis odinae (see second picture above and below) are similarly-coloured to the adult apterae (red-brown or dark green) with dark siphunculi.

Aphis odinae is found on numerous shrubs and trees in east and south-east Asia, mostly in the families Anacardiaceae (e.g. Mangifera, Rhus), Araliaceae (e.g. Aralia), Caprifoliaceae (Viburnum), Ericaceae (Rhododendron), Pittosporaceae (Pittosporum), Rubiaceae (e.g. Coffea), and Rutaceae (Citrus). They feed on undersides of leaves of host plants along main veins (see picture above) and in dense colonies on young shoots, and are attended by ants. Over most of its distribution Aphis odinae is anholocyclic, but in Japan there is at least a partial sexual phase, with sexuales produced in autumn on various plants, and fundatrices found in spring. The mango aphid is found over most of Southern and South-East Asia, China, Korea and Japan, as well as in Africa south of the Sahara, Greece and Hawaii.

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Aphis oenotherae (Evening primrose aphid) North America, Southern & Western Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis oenotherae (see first picture below) are pale yellowish green to dark green, and are lightly wax powdered. The ratio of the antennal terminal process to the base of antennal segment six (PT/base) ranges from 1.9-2.5 and is usually more than 2 (cf. Aphis holoenotherae for which that ratio ranges from 1.5-2.3 and is usually less than 2). The length of the terminal process is more than 0.23 mm (cf. Aphis holoenotherae where the length of the terminal process is less than 0.22 mm.). There are no marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites 2-6 (cf. Aphis grossulariae which has marginal tubercles on most of abdominal tergites 2-6). The siphunculi and cauda are completely pale (cf. Aphis nasturtiiwhich has the siphunculi darkened just at the apices). The body length of the adult Aphis oenotherae aptera is 1.5-2.0 mm.

The alate Aphis oenotherae (see second picture above) has the head and most of the thorax black, the abdomen green with dusky marginal sclerites, and the siphunculi dusky. Immatures, especially of future alatae, have paired pale white wax patches on the dorsum.

In America Aphis oenotherae is thought (but not confirmed) to host alternate between currant species (Ribes spp.) and various members of the Onagraceae, including evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) and willowherbs (Epilobium spp.). Aphis oenotherae was formerly thought to occur throughout Europe as invasive anholocyclic populations, mainly on evening primrose. However, those in northern and eastern Europe have now been described as another species, namely Aphis holoenotherae, based on DNA analysis. The identity of those in southern and western Europe (such as those pictured here) remains uncertain, but is currently accepted as Aphis oenotherae.

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Aphis oestlundi (Dark-tipped evening primrose aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis oestlundi are a more or less uniform pale green. The siphunculi are mainly pale, but with darker tips (cf. Aphis grossulariae, Aphis epilobiaria, Aphis oenotherae, which all have completely pale siphunculi, and cf. Aphis fabae, Aphis gossypii, Aphis spiraecola, all of which have dark or dusky siphunculi). The antennal terminal process is only 1.2-1.9 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI (cf Aphis praeterita, which has the terminal process 3.3-4.7 times the base of that segment). The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is quite short at 1.35-1.70 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) (cf. Aphis nasturtii, which has RIV+V less than 1.40 times the length of HTII). The anterior half of the subgenital plate has 4-6 hairs. The cauda and the anal plate are pale to slightly dusky. The body length of adult Aphis oestlundi apterae is 1.8-2.0 mm.

Both images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

The alate Aphis oestlundi (see second picture above and below) has black head and thorax, a light green abdomen with dusky lateral areas, a spot at the base of each siphunculus posteriorly - and sometimes traces of median dashes on the abdomen. The antennae and siphunculi are dusky. The legs are pale, except for the tips of the tibiae and tarsi which are black, and the cauda is pale. There are well developed marginal tubercles on the prothorax and on abdominal tergites I and VII. The cauda is somewhat elongated and constricted near the base, and bears 2-3 hairs on each side.

Aphis oestlundi lives on the leaves and stems of evening primrose (Oenothera biennis). It does not host alternate. Sexuales develop in autumn on the undersides of leaves of the host plant located near the ground. The males are apterous, have a brown head, a yellowish green thorax with the pleural, lateral and anterior areas of dorsum brownish, and a yellowish green abdomen with the brown siphunculi. The ovipara is a deep bright green, with the head, antennae, siphunculi, anal plate, apices of tibiae, and tarsi, brownish. Aphis oestlundi is restricted to North America, where it is found widely.

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Aphis origani (Oregano leaf-curl aphid) Europe, North Africa, Asia

Aphis origani is one of a group of species related to Aphis frangulae, but living monoeciously on Labiatae (see also Aphis passeriniana on Salvia and Aphis lamiorum on Lamium purpureum). Aphis origani lives on the stems and leaf-undersides of oregano (Origanum vulgare) causing a characteristic downward leaf-curl where they are often tented over with earth by attending ants (see first picture below). Adult apterae of Aphis origani vary in colour from greenish-yellow (see second picture below) to dark mottled green, with no waxing. Their antennal terminal process is 1.8-2.6 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.08-1.15 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The dorsal sclerotic pattern is variable but, at most, there may be marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bands on tergites VII-VIII. Hairs on the hind tibia vary from slightly shorter to slightly longer than the least-width of the tibia. The siphunculi are wholly dark and the cauda is dusky (cf. Aphis nasturtii, which have pale siphunculi with dark apices and a pale cauda). The siphunculi are 1.05-1.45 times as long as the cauda (cf. Aphis gossypii, whose siphunculi are 1.3-2.5 times the caudal length). The body length of adult apterae is 1.0-1.8 mm. Immature Aphis origani apterae are wax-free, and similarly coloured to their adults.

Unlike other Aphis origani morphs, immature alatae have discrete white pleural wax spots (see first picture below). Mature alatae (see third picture above) are typical of aphids of the 'frangulae' group being unwaxed, with dark intersegmental sclerites present in a few specimens, but spinal sclerites are rarely present on tergites I-V. The alatae have 2-8 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III.

Downward leaf-curl and ant-tenting are good indicators of the presence of Aphis origani which form colonies up the stems and flowers, and on the leaf undersides of their main host, oregano or marjoram (Origanum vulgare). It has also been recorded on several other members of the Lamiaceae, but Blackman cautions that this could be due to confusion with other species. The aphids are usually (if not always) attended by ants. Sexual forms have apparently not yet been described, but oviparae and males would be expected to occur in autumn. The oregano leaf-curl aphid is found in Europe excluding Scandinavia, and in Morocco, Central Asia and Pakistan. Aphis origani is found in Britain but is local and rare. We can now confirm its presence in East Sussex.

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Aphis paludicola (Marsh spurge aphid) Central Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis paludicola (see top aphid in first picture below) are dark brown with a thick covering of grey-white wax. The hairs on antennal segment III are quite long and finely pointed, and 1.1-2.0 times the basal diameter of segment III (cf. Aphis euphorbiae, which has the longest hairs on antennal segment III 0.55-0.95 times its basal diameter). The siphunculi are 0.70-1.37 times longer than the cauda. The cauda bears numerous (28 or more) hairs. The body length of adult apterae is 2.3-2.7 mm.

Images above copyright Aimaina Hikari under a Creative Commons CC-Zero (public domain) licence.

Alatae of Aphis paludicola (not pictured) have 9-15 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 0-7 on segment IV, and 0-4 on segment V.

Aphis paludicola is thought to be monoecious holocyclic, like other members of the Aphis euphorbiae group. Its only known host plant is marsh spurge (Euphorbia palustris). The aphid has so far been found in Germany and Ukraine.

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Aphis parietariae (Pellitory-of-the-wall aphid) Europe, North Africa, Middle East

For most of the year Aphis parietariae apterae range in colour from dark to light mottled green (see first picture below). In summer pale yellowish dwarf apterae may develop (see second picture below). There is a dusting of light grey wax on the dorsum. The antennal tubercles are weakly developed. The apterae have bands across tergites 7-8 in larger specimens but the dorsum is otherwise unpigmented. The siphunculi are blackish, much darker than any other sclerotic part of the body, although the siphunculi of dwarf apterae lighten somewhat near the bases. They are 1.0-1.5 times the length of the pale cauda, which bears 6-10 hairs. The body length of Aphis parietariae apterae is 0.9-1.7 mm.

Aphis parietariae alatae (see third picture above) have marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, and a median sclerite on tergite 6 in addition to bands on tergites VII and VII. The antennae of alates have 4-8 secondary rhinaria on the third segment, 0-2 on the fourth, and none on the fifth. Immature Aphis parietariae (see second picture below) have transverse bands of grey wax across the dorsum.

The pellitory-of-the-wall aphid does not host alternate. It lives in dense colonies on stems, under leaves and on inflorescences of Parietaria species. Sexual forms occur in autumn - the males are apterous. Aphis parietariae is found across Europe, as well as in north Africa and the Middle East.

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Aphis passeriniana (Sage aphid) Southern & Western Europe, Middle East

Adult apterae of Aphis passeriniana (see first picture below) are mottled dull-green to dark-green in life, with a fairly marked wax bloom. The abdominal dorsum is wholly pale and membranous or, at most, with faint traces of dusky bands across tergites 7-8. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is conspicuously long and the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) is conspicuously short, giving a ratio of 1.54-2.02. Aphis passeriniana siphunculi range from pale to dark (see pictures of apterae below), and are tapering, rather long and stout. The siphunculi are 0.80 - 1.25 times the length of the relatively short and bluntly finger-shaped cauda. Hairs on the legs are rather short, mostly distinctly shorter than the least width of the hind tibiae. The body length of adult apterae ranges from 1.16-1.78 mm

The alates (see second picture above) have marginal and (conspicuous) postsiphuncular sclerites and bands across tergites 7-8.

The sage aphid lives up growing shoots, in curled leaves and among the flowers of Salvia species, especially Salvia officinalis (garden sage), but also Salvia splendens (scarlet-flowered sage) and Salvia verticillata (lilac sage). Aphis passeriniana does not host alternate. It is assumed to overwinter as eggs on sage, but sexual forms have not been described. The only previous British record of Aphis passeriniana was in 1955, in the University Botanic Garden in Cambridge, so our record appears to constitute the second known occurrence in Britain. This is mainly a Southern European species with records from Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Greece, as well as Iraq and Israel.

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Aphis pawneepae (Redbud aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis pawneepae have the head and thorax brown, and the remaining body portion reddish-brown, with a fine covering of white wax powder. The antennae are dusky-brown; the base of the third segment is lightest and apical antennal segments progressively darker. The legs are brown with knees and apical portions of femora and tarsi dusky. The siphunculi and cauda are dark. The antennae are either five- or six-segmented. When six segmented, the antennal terminal process is about twice as long as the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Longistigma caryae, which has the terminal process shorter than the base of that segment). Secondary rhinaria are absent. The rostrum reaches mid-way between the meso- and meta-thoracic coxae. The prothorax has a pair of very large marginal tubercles. The siphunculi are rather short, poorly imbricated without a flange, taper slightly towards the apex, and about 1.3 times the caudal length. The cauda is more or less triangular, with about 20 hairs. The body length of adult Aphis pawneepae apterae is 1.5-1.7 mm.

Image above copyright Even Dankowicz, under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Alate Aphis pawneepae have the head and thorax dark dusky brown to black, and the abdomen with lateral patches (marginal sclerites ?) of darker brown. The wing veins are dark brown and bordered with fuscous. Alatae have 2-5 (usually only 2) secondary rhinaria on the basal part of antennal segment III.

Aphis pawneepae is monoecious holocyclic on redbud (Cercis canadensis). Parker (1935) found colonies arranged along the undersides of twigs and branches, always on old wood, much as shown in the picture above. Hottes (1934), however, found them in ant shelters constructed by Crematogaster lineolata, just at the ground surface, encircling the trunks of small seedling trees. The only exception to this was the fundatrices which were on stems of the host plant. The redbud aphid has been found in Illinois, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, USA.

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Aphis pentstemonicola (Penstemon aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis pentstemonicola are green (see first picture below), greenish yellow, or light yellow (see second picture below), with a dark green patch in the mid-dorsum (the dark green colour is in the internal tissue, so is lost in clarified mounts) (cf. Aphis asclepiadis, which does not have a dark green mid-dorsal patch). The head and thorax are dusky, and there are traces of mid-dorsal bands on tergites VI, VII & VIII. There is a large dusky patch on the dorsum on the inside of each siphunculus (cf. Aphis asclepiadis, which does not have dusky patches, but may have a dark narrow sclerite by each siphunculus). The antennae are dusky or dark, apart from the basal part of segment III which is pale. The number of secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III is extremely variable, varying from 0-18, leading to suggestions that more than one species might be involved here (see note below). There are marginal tubercles on the prothorax and abdominal tergites I and VII. The siphunculi, cauda, anal plate and genital plates are dark, and the legs are pale to dusky, with the tarsi and tips of tibiae blackish. The siphunculi are cylindrical, coarsely imbricated and with a flange. The anal plate is slightly produced on the ventral margin. The cauda is bluntly triangular with only a slight tendency to constriction near the base, and bearing three hairs on each side. The body length of adult Aphis pentstemonicola apterae is 1.8-2.0 mm

First image above copyright Andrew Jensen under a cc by-nc-sa licence.
Second & third images above, copyright Jesse Rorabaugh no rights reserved.

The alate Aphis pentstemonicola (not pictured) has a black head and thorax, but is otherwise coloured as the apterous vivivipara. They have 20-43 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 12-20 on segment IV, and 5-9 on segment V.

Aphis pentstemonicola feeds on the leaves and stems of several Penstemon spp. (beardtongues). There is no host alternation, oviparae and apterous males are produced in October. Aphis pentstemonicola are often attended by ants (see third picture above). This species is restricted to western Canada (Alberta), and western USA (Utah, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, Colorado - and, given these records, California).

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Aphis phaceliae (Phacelia aphid) North America

The fundatrix of Aphis phaceliae (see pictures below) has the posterior dorsum pale yellowish-green shading anteriorly to pale green or apple-green mottled with darker bluish-green, and a pale yellowish cauda. Apterous viviparae are rusty yellow on the head, with rest of the dorsum yellowish green or canary-yellow mottled with green anteriorly. The dorsum has no dark transverse intersegmental sclerites (cf. Myzus ornatus, which has conspicuous dark transverse intersegmental sclerites). The antennae are shorter than body length (cf. Illinoia phacelia which has antennae much longer than body length). They have weakly developed antennal tubercles, and secondary rhinaria are occasionally present on antennal segment III. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.15 mm in length, 1.5-1.6 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII); it is longer than the cauda and bears 4-5 hairs. The prothorax and abdominal tergites I & VII have marginal tubercles. The siphunculi are dark (or sometimes pale with dark tips, given these pictures), and are cylindrical or somewhat tapering distally (cf. Myzus ascalonicus and Myzus persicae, which have slightly or moderately swollen siphunculi). The cauda is elongate, parallel-sided, with a light constriction or neck near the base, and bears 3 hairs on each side.

Images above copyright Andrew Jensen under a cc by-nc-sa licence.

The Aphis phaceliae alate vivipara has 7-12 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and 1-4 on segment IV. The head and thorax are black. The abdomen is pale apple-green with dorsal dark dashes, a darker green median line, and dusky patches near the siphunculi. The antennae, siphunculi, tarsi, and tips of tibiae are dark. The cauda is yellowish and the anal and genital plates are dusky. The fore wings have the media vein twice branched. The hind wings have two cross veins.

Aphis phaceliae feeds on the leaves and stems of scorpionweed (Phacelia spp.). It is monoecious holocyclic, and is thought to have an abbreviated life cycle (see Jensen in aphidtrek). It is considered to be somewhat rare (Gillette & Palmer, 1929), although Jensen (ibid) noted that it could consistently be found on Phacelia in the spring growing on dry, disturbed soil such as south-facing road-cuts. The species has been found in the American northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho) south to Colorado.

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Aphis picridicola (Yellow oxtongue aphid) Europe, West Asia

Colonies of Aphis picridicola live basally on the rosette and root collar of hawkbit (Leontodon taraxacoides) where they are tented with sand or soil particles by attending ants (see first picture below). Adult apterae of Aphis picridicola are bluish-grey, bluish green or pale green with a greyish wax bloom (see second picture below). The antennae normally have 6 segments, although in some smaller individuals segments III and IV are more-or-less fused. The antennal terminal process is 1.5-1.9 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The rostrum is rather long with the fused apical rostral segment 1.21-1.36 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment. There is a marked dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern characterised by a tendency for the dark intersegmental sclerites to enlarge, especially on tergites IV-V where they form large spreading dark patches just in front of the siphuncular bases. Spinal bands and marginal sclerites are also present on most segments. Marginal tubercles on abdominal segments I and VII are rather large. The siphunculi are rather short, only 0.9-1.11 times the length of the short subtriangular cauda. The body length of adult Aphis picridicola apterae is 1.4-2.1 mm.

The alate Aphis picridicola (not pictured) has large marginal sclerites on tergites II-IV but not on V, no postsiphuncular sclerites, short bands on tergites VII-VIII, and two distinct series of dark pleural intersegmental muscle sclerites, the outer series lying very near the marginal sclerites. There may also be small spinal sclerites on tergites I-VI. Immatures (see third picture above) are greenish with or without faint dark intersegmental markings.

Aphis picridicola was formerly assigned to subgenus Protaphis, but has since been moved to genus Aphis, subgenus Pseudoprotaphis - and Protaphis is considered to have full genus status.

The hawkbit root aphid does not host alternate, but lives year-round on hawkbits (Leontodon species), catsears (Hypochaeris spp.) and hawkweed oxtongue (Picris hieracioides). Apterous males and oviparae are produced in autumn, and the species overwinters as eggs on the basal leaves. Aphis picridicola is rare in Britain, but is found throughout Europe into west Siberia.

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Aphis pilosellae (Mouse-ear hawkweed aphid) Europe, West Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis pilosellae are pale to dark green. Immature aphids are paler (see pictures below). Large apterae have dusky bands across tergites 7-8 or 6-8; small apterae have only faint dusky bars on 7-8. The most distinctive character of Aphis pilosellae is the long apical rostral segment which is longer than antennal segment IV or V. The marginal tubercles on abdominal segments 1 and 7 are rather large. The siphunculi are 0.80 to 1.25 times the length of the cauda, which is tapering with very strongly incurved hairs. The body length of the Aphis pilosellae aptera is 1.02-1.54 mm.

The green mouse-ear hawkweed aphid lives under the rosette leaves and on the stolons of mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella). It is sheltered by ants under tents of soil particles. Sexual forms exist, but have not been described. In Britain it seems to be restricted to the south-east, possibly because it needs high sunshine levels. Aphis pilosellae is found throughout Europe and into Russia.

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Aphis plantaginis (Plantain aphid) Europe, West Asia

Adult Aphis plantaginis apterae are dark green, mottled to a greater or lesser extent with pale green. The antennal terminal process is 2.0-2.8 times the length of the base of the sixth antennal segment. Their abdominal sclerotic pattern is variable, with the most heavily marked having dark intersegmental muscle sclerites (see micrographs below), small marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bars across tergites 7 and 8. Marginal tubercles are rather large, especially in alates. The siphunculi are black and 1.62-2.42 times the length of the dusky cauda. The body length of Aphis plantaginis aptera is 1.23-2.04 mm.

Aphis plantaginis lives under the rosette leaves and on the root collar of great plantain (Plantago major), hoary plantain (Plantago media) and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata). It does not host alternate. It is usually attended by ants which cover the aphid colony with soil particles. Sexual forms develop in autumn. Aphis plantaginis is widely distributed in southern Britain and throughout most of Europe and into Asia.

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Aphis podagrariae (Ground elder leaf-curl aphid) Europe, West & Central Asia

Aphis podagrariae induces characteristic tightly bunched leaf-curls on its main host, ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria, see first picture below). Adult apterae of Aphis podagrariae are black or blackish-green sometimes with areas of reddish-brown suffusion (see second picture below), and are usually without wax. Their antennae are 6-segmented with a terminal process 2.1-2.6 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.13-1.31 times the length of the second hind tarsal tarsal segment (HTII) (cf. Aphis fabae sstr., which has RIV+V 0.88-1.06 times the length of HTII). The degree of abdominal sclerotization is variable. Stroyan (1984) reported that it varied with the size of the aphid, with larger adults having a complete series of bands over the thorax and abdomen, and smaller ones having bands only on tergites VII & VIII, but most of the specimens we have found only have bands on VII & VIII regardless of size. There are usually no marginal tubercles on tergites II-IV (cf Aphis solanella, for which about 50% of individuals have one or more marginal tubercles on tergites II-IV). The length of the hairs on the tibiae and femora are up to about twice the least width of the tibiae. The siphunculi are 0.75-1.45 times as long as the cauda (cf. Aphis brohmeri, which has siphunculi 1.26-1.58 times the length of the cauda). The length of adult Aphis podagrariae apterae is 1.44-2.47 mm. Immatures, especially third and fourth instars, often have small pleural white wax spots (also see second picture below), and younger instars may have a more general wax dusting.

Alatae (see third picture above) are greenish-brown or dirty green, with a series of narrow dorsal abdominal sclerotic bands. They have 12-18 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 1-7 rhinaria on segment IV and 0-2 rhinaria on segment VI.

The main host of Aphis podagrariae is ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria), but it has also been recorded on moon carrot (Seseli libanotis) and on Seseli (Libanotis) condensata. On young plants the aphids live in tightly bunched leaf-curls where they are loosely attended by ants. Later in the year aphids may occur on all parts of the plant, although they are not found clustered on the flowers (cf. Aphis fabae, which feeds preferentially on the flowers). There is no host alternation, and sexuales with mainly alate males develop in autumn. The ground elder leaf-curl aphid is found throughout Europe (except Spain & Portugal) and east into Central Asia. In Britain it is probably quite widespread in southern England, but its distribution is poorly known.

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Aphis polygonata (Brown knotgrass aphid) Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis polygonata are red-brown (see first picture below) to dark brown to black. The antennal terminal process is 1.7-2.6 times the length of the base of segment VI. The abdominal dorsum is membranous without any banding of the tergites, but there are small dark intersegmental muscle sclerites and rather strong reticulation of the cuticle (which is clearly visible in the first image below). The siphunculi of Aphis polygonata are conspicuously pale and are very short and strongly tapering, being only 0.63-0.85 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is of the same colour as the siphunculi or darker and is bluntly tapering. The body length of adult apterae is 1.6-1.2 mm.

Third image above copyright Mihajlo Tomić, all rights reserved

The alate Aphis polygonata (see second image above) also has the abdominal dorsum membranous, without any banding of the tergites. The cauda of the alate is rather more pointed than that of the aptera.

Aphis polygonata is found on common knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare) and redshank (Persicaria maculosa). There is no host alternation, with sexuales produced in autumn and the population overwintering in the egg stage. Aphis polygonata is sometimes attended by ants (see third picture above). In Britain Stroyan (1964) gives Berkshire, Hertford and Cornwall as the only counties where it has been found, and then mostly as trapped alatae. He suggests that perhaps Aphis polygonata needs a 'more continental climate' than that found in Britain. Our observations indicate that it is fairly widespread (perhaps common) on its host at least in south-eastern England (Kent, East Sussex, Hampshire) and probably further north and west. The brown knotgrass aphid occurs throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan, and has also been recorded in the USA.

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Aphis pomi (Apple aphid) Europe, North Africa, Asia, North America

The Aphis pomi aptera (below first) is bright apple green or yellow green and is not wax-powdered. The abdominal dorsum is pale and usually entirely membranous, although rarely a small sclerite or short bar may occur on the spine of tergite 5. The fused last two rostral segments are more than 120 μm in length and marginal tubercles are present on abdominal tergites 2-4 (the latter two characters distinguish Aphis pomi from the very similar invasive Aphis spiraecola). The siphunculi and cauda are conspicuously blackish. The cauda has 10-19 hairs (rarely less than 13). The body length of an adult aptera is 1.2-2.2 mm.

Aphis pomi alates (above second) have a black thorax. The alate abdomen is green, usually with 3 pairs of weakly pigmented black lateral circular spots on the anterior abdominal segments, and a semicircular spot in front of and behind each siphunculus.

The green apple aphid does not host alternate. It feeds in dense colonies on the young shoots and undersides of leaves of apple (Malus spp.) and related plants including pear (Pyrus), hawthorn (Crataegus), Sorbus and Cotoneaster, causing leaf curl. Colonies are often attended by ants. Sexual forms occur in autumn and after mating the females lay sometimes large egg masses on the twigs. It is generally common and is distributed throughout Europe, north Africa, Asia eastwards to India and Pakistan, and in North America.

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Aphis praeterita (Hairy willowherb aphid) Europe, Asia, North America

Adult Aphis praeterita apterae are lemon yellow to greenish yellow (see two pictures below). Their abdominal dorsum is membranous with little or no sclerotization. Marginal tubercles are small (barely visible in the micrograph below right), those on tergites 1 and 7 being distinctly smaller than the adjacent spiracular plates. The tapering siphunculi are apically dusky and have regular imbrication. They are 1.29-1.95 times the caudal length. The cauda is slightly dusky and finger-shaped. The body length of adult Aphis praeterita apterae is 1.44-2.47 mm.

Alates have short cross bars or sclerites on the posterior abdominal tergites, and frequently also on some of the anterior 5 tergites. Antennal segment III has 7-12 secondary rhinaria, IV has 0-5 and V has 0-1.

The hairy willowherb aphid does not host alternate, remaining all year on the same host, hairy willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum). They feed on the underside of the leaves and on the growing shoot apices. These aphids are not usually ant attended. In Britain, Aphis praeterita has been recorded in most southern English counties. It is widely distributed in Europe, Central Asia, Pakistan and China - and has been introduced to North America.

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Aphis pseudocomosa (Meadow vetchling aphid) Europe, West Asia

Adult Aphis pseudocomosa apterae usually have a solid and extensive shiny black dorsal sclerotic shield with reticulation incorporating all the marginal sclerites (see first picture below). Smaller specimens sometimes have a more broken pattern. Unsclerotized parts are a dark warm brown. The longest hair on the third antennal segment is 0.67-1.38 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis craccivora on which the longest hair on the third antennal segment is usually 0.37-0.75 times the basal diameter of that segment; cf. Aphis loti on which the longest hair on the third antennal segment is usually 0.40-0.71 times the basal diameter of that segment). Marginal tubercles are variable in size and distribution - when present those on tergites 2-6 are small (cf. Aphis coronillae on which there are 4-10 protuberant marginal tubercles on tergites 2-6). The cauda is tapering. Adult aptera body length is 1.52-2.29 mm. Immature Aphis pseudocomosa (see second picture below) are reddish brown to magenta with a greyish wax bloom.

The alate (not shown) has large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, and broad bands across tergites 6-8 or 5-8. The bands may meet with other sclerites so that the siphuncular bases are completely encircled. There is also a complete series of bands on tergites 1-4.

Aphis pseudocomosa lives in small colonies on the young shoots and flowers of meadow vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis). It does not host alternate, remaining all year on meadow vetchling. Apterous males and oviparae occur in autumn. Aphis pseudocomosa is (apparently) not very common in Britain, having only been previously recorded in Surrey, Essex, Hertford, Gloucester and Caernarvon, and now East Sussex. It is, however, widespread in mainland Europe into west Siberia.

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Aphis punicae (Pomegranate aphid) Southern Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis punicae are yellowish-green, green or grey-green with siphunculi pale green to brown with darker apices (but wholly dark in spring) and a pale cauda (cf. Aphis achyranthi, Aphis aurantii, Aphis craccivora, Aphis fabae and Aphis spiraecola, which all have both the cauda and siphunculi very dark). All the segments of antennae are pale, except for the base of segment VI and the terminal process which are darkened. The antennae are almost half as long as the body, with the terminal process about twice as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The rostrum does not reach the third pair of coxae. There are marginal tubercles on the pronotum and on abdominal tergite I. The legs are pale, with tarsi dusky to dark. The siphunculi are 1.1-1.5 times the caudal length. (cf. Aphis gossypii, which usually has siphunculi more than 1.5 times the length of the cauda). The cauda is 0.35-0.44 times as long as the width of the head across the eyes, and has 7-9 hairs (cf. Aphis gossypii, which usually has 4-7 hairs on its cauda). The anal plate is dark. The body length of adult Aphis punicae apterae is 1.0-1.7 mm.

First two images above by permission, copyright Sunil Joshi & Poorani, J. Aphids of Karnataka (accessed 12/2/20)
Third image copyright Stavros Apostolou under a under a Creative Commons licence.

Aphis punicae alatae (see second picture above) are greenish-brown and have secondary rhinaria distributed 4-11 on antennal segment III, and 0-5 on segment IV.

Aphis punicae typically colonize the upper sides of mature leaves of pomegranate (Punica granatum), concentrating along the midribs and around the leaf margins. It is also found on the flowers and fruits (see third picture above), and is considered a major pest in pomegranate orchards. It has also been recorded from pigeon berry (Duranta erecta) and common lantana (Lantana camara) (both in Verbenaceae), crossvine (Bignonia sp.) and trumpet vine (Capsis radicans) (both in Bignoniaceae), and cape leadwort (Plumbago auriculata = P. capensis) (Plumbaginaceae). Aphis punicae is native to the Mediterranean area, but is now also found in the Middle East, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Japan, and Korea.

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Aphis rubicola (Small American raspberry aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis rubicola (see two pictures below) are very small, yellowish to green aphids, with mainly pale appendages. The spring form has 6-segmented antennae, but the summer dwarfs have 5-segmented antennae (cf. Aphis rubifolii, which always have 5-segmented antennae). The antennal terminal process is 2.0-2.6 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) usually has 3-4 accessory hairs. The prothorax and abdominal tergites I & VII usually have marginal tubercles. The dorsal body hairs are mostly very long, the longest being 2.5-4.0 times the basal diameter of antennal segment III (cf. Aphis rubifolii, which has much shorter body hairs). The siphunculi taper from base to flange and are pale or dusky, and sometimes dark at their apices. Abdominal tergite VIII has 3-5 hairs, and the cauda usually has 10-12 hairs. The body length of the Aphis rubicola spring form is 0.9-1.2 mm, with summer dwarfs only 0.6-0.9 mm in length.

First image above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.
Second image copyright CBG Photography Group under a Creative Commons License.

Alatae of Aphis rubicola have the head and thorax shining black with dark marginal sclerites on the abdomen. They have 3-10 rather large secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III in a single row.

Aphis rubicola feeds on the new growth leaves and shoot apices of American red raspberry (Rubus strigosus) and black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis). In summer they are found on the fruiting canes.There is no host alternation. Sexuales (with apterous males) develop in autumn. It is widely distributed through North America.

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Aphis rubifolii (Small blackberry aphid) North America

Aphis rubifolii lives in curled-leaf pseudogalls (see first picture below) of various species of blackberry (Rubus species). The adult apterae are pale yellow, mottled to a greater or lesser extent with green (see second picture below). Their appendages are mainly pale, but the tarsi and apices of the siphunculi are dusky or dark. The antennae of Aphis rubifolii are 5-segmented (cf. Aphis rubicola, which usually have 6-segmented antennae - except for the summer dwarfs of that species which have 5-segmented antennae). The antennal terminal process is 1.6-2.6 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis ruborum, which has the terminal process 2.5-3.6 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI). The cauda has 7-11 hairs (cf. summer dwarfs of Aphis ruborum, which have 4-7 hairs on the cauda). The body length of adult Aphis rubifolii apterae is 0.9-1.4 mm.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Aphis rubifolii alatae have a dark thorax and head, and a green abdomen. Secondary rhinaria are confined to antennal segment III, and number from 2 to 7 (average 4). Their siphunculi are long and straight. The cauda is not constricted, and has about four hairs on each side.

Small blackberry aphids live in crinkled leaf pseudogalls on both cultivated and wild species of blackberries (Rubus). On cultivated varieties they are often found near the tips of the blackberry canes. This aphid species does not host alternate. Sexuales with apterous males develop in autumn and they overwinter on blackberry in the egg stage. The species is found widely in North America, but (so far at least) not in Europe. It has however been recorded from north-eastern India and Nepal, presumably as a result of an accidental introduction.

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Aphis ruborum (Bramble aphid) Europe, North Africa, West & Central Asia

Aphis ruborum apterae (see first picture below) are commonly dark blue-green in spring and pale yellow-green in summer. Dwarf apterae (0.8-1.0 mm) occur in late summer. The abdominal dorsum is mostly pale and membranous. The siphunculi are pale but with dusky bases and apices, and 1.1-2 times the length of the cauda. The antennae and legs are pale. The body length of Aphis ruborum apterae usually varies from 1.1-2.2 mm.

Aphis ruborum alates (see second picture above) are dark or pale green with have some pale faint dorsal bands and dark siphunculi.

The small bramble aphid does not host alternate. Aphis ruborum feeds on blackberry (Rubus fruticosus). It is also found on loganberry and rarely on strawberry. In early summer it lives in dense colonies, is ant attended and causes leaf curl. In late summer dwarf apterae may be found living singly on the underside of the leaf between the veins. Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis ruborum is widely distributed through Europe into North Africa and central Asia.

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Aphis rumicis (Dock aphid) Europe, Asia, North America

Aphis rumicis rolls and crumples the leaves of its host to form pseudogalls, (see first picture below) before later in the year moving up stems and into the inflorescences (cf. Aphis fabae which does not roll the leaves). The apterae (see second picture below) are coal-black to very dark greenish-brown. Their antennae are pale near their bases but are darkened from the middle of segment III to their tips. The dorsum typically has well marked bands across tergites 6-8 as well as fragmented bands on tergites 1-5 (these bands are difficult to see in live specimens). The hairs on their hind legs are all much longer than the least width of the tibiae. The black siphunculi are 0.89-1.35 times the length of the black cauda. The body length of Aphis rumicis is 2.05-2.77 mm.

The alates (see third picture below) normally have a very regular pattern of bands of even width on tergites 1-5 which often extend over most of the width of the tergites. Immature Aphis rumicis do not have the pleural wax spots typical of many 'black' aphids. This last characteristic is one of the easiest ways to distinguish Aphis rumicis from Aphis fabae which also occurs on Rumex.

The dock aphid feeds on dock (Rumex species) and occasionally on rhubarb (Rheum). It does not host alternate. Sexual forms are produced in autumn. Aphis rumicis is usually attended by ants. Note: in the past Aphis rumicis was regularly confused with Aphis fabae and was consequently thought to also feed on beans and many other plants.

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Aphis salicariae (Dogwood - rosebay willowherb aphid) Europe, West & Central Asia, North America

Aphis salicariae apterae are reddish brown with a marked wax bloom making the aphids appear grey or pinkish (see first picture below). The mid-dorsum of the Aphis salicariae aptera is more or less membranous but there are small postsiphuncular and marginal sclerites, dark intersegmental muscle sclerites and transverse bands across tergites 6-8. The siphunculi are gently to rather strongly curved outwards, and the cauda is short and bluntly tapering. The body length of Aphis salicariae apterae is 1.8-2.3 mm.

The alate is much less heavily waxed than the aptera, and has a better developed pattern with larger marginals and postsiphunculars and short median sclerites on most of the tergites. The siphunculi are also curved outwards on the alate.

The primary host of the dogwood - rosebay willowherb aphid host is the red-barked dogwood (Cornus alba) where the aphid causes leaf curl and feeds in developing flower umbels. The secondary host is rosebay willowherb (Chamaenerion (=Epilobium) angustifolium) where the aphid lives in colonies along the midribs of the underside of the leaves. The leaves of willowherb show a characteristic yellowish colouration when a colony is present (see third picture above). Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis salicariae is widely distributed through Europe into north-west and central Asia, and has been introduced to and is widepread in North America.

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Aphis sambuci (Elder aphid) Europe, North Asia, North America

On their primary host (elder), Aphis sambuci apterae (see first picture below) are very variable in colour from dark green through to yellowish brown; on their secondary host (e.g. root collar of dock) Aphis sambuci are usually dark green. Adults and immatures often have white waxy stripes acros the sides of the abdominal segments. Antennae, siphunculi and legs blackish on the primary host and brownish in root colonies. The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern comprises small marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, dark intersegmental muscle sclerites and variably complete transverse bands across tergites 6-8. Tergites 1-4 and and 7 have marginal tubercles (visible if you expand the images below) between their dark marginal sclerites. The cauda is dark and bluntly tapering. The body length of adult Aphis sambuci apterae is 2.0-3.5 mm.

Alates (see second picture above) have larger postsiphunculars, well developed marginals, stronger bands on tergites 7-8 and some unpaired median dorsal sclerites.

The elder aphid normally host alternates between elder (Sambucus nigra) in spring where it forms dense colonies, and the roots and root collars of various herbs such as docks (Rumex) and campions (Silene). Sexual forms of Aphis sambuci occur in autumn. It is strongly ant attended on the primary host and sheltered by ants on the secondary host roots. It occurs throughout the northern continents.

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Aphis sanguisorbae (Salad burnet root aphid) Europe, Middle East

Colonies of Aphis sanguisorbae can be found on the stem bases and surface roots of burnets (Sanguisorba spp.) which have been ant-tented with chalk fragments (see first picture below). Adult apterae are blackish brown, sometimes with copper and red-brown hues on the posterior tergites. The newly moulted aphids are very shiny, but as they age they develop a slight wax bloom giving them a matt appearance. The wax bloom is most apparent on immature Aphis sanguisorbae. The dorsal cuticle usually has a distinct reticulation. The dorsal abdominal pattern is confined to narrow dark bands across tergites 7-8 and small dark intersegmental muscle sclerites. The siphunculi are dark, more or less cylindrical and with hardly any apical flange. The cauda is short, broadly tongue shaped and often very pale. Hairs on the legs are blunt and mostly short.

Aphis sanguisorbae alatae have large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, strong bands on tergites 6-8 and some additional bands or sclerites on some of tergites 1-5.

The aphids found on salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) are generally regarded as Aphis sanguisorbae ssp. poterii. They have shorter hairs and more weakly developed marginal tubercles than the nominate species living on great burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis).

The salad burnet root aphid lives on stem bases and surface roots of burnets (Sanguisorba spp.) under ant-constructed shelters of soil or chalk particles. Apterous males and oviparae are produced in autumn. There are few records of this aphid in England (only in Kent, Bedford and Cambridge - and now, with our record, in East Sussex), and one recent record in Wales. However, it is very easy to overlook this aphid, and it is probably widespread on chalk and limestone soils in Britain wherever its host occurs. Aphis sanguisorbae has been widely, but infrequently, recorded from most of Europe and from Israel.

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Aphis schneideri (Blackcurrant aphid) Europe, West Asia

Aphis schneideri apterae are dark bluish green to blackish green with distinct wax powdering. The hairs on the third antennal segment are long, acute and 2.0-3.1 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis grossulariae which has those hairs only 1.0-1.5 times the basal diameter of that segment). The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern of Aphis schneideri is absent or limited at most to dusky bands across tergites 6-8. The abdominal marginal tubercles are very prominent, subconical and are often present on all segments from 1-7 inclusive. Their siphunculi and legs are pale.The cauda is short and blunt. The body length of apterae is 1.7-2.3 mm.

Alate Aphis schneideri have dark marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, bands across tergites 6-8, and sometimes small sclerites or broken bars on tergites 1-5. The siphunculi are dark in the alate, and compared to the aptera the cauda is rather more slender and less sharply tapering over the distal two thirds.

The blackcurrant aphid does not host alternate, hence the common name 'permanent' currant aphid. It feeds on blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) and related currants (Ribes spp.), forming dense colonies up young shoots and under the leaves. Aphis schneideri causes bunching and leaf curl and is attended by ants. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It occurs throughout much of Europe and parts of Asia.

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Aphis sedi (Stonecrop aphid) Europe, Asia, North America

Aphis sedi apterae are small and dark green to blackish green with no wax powdering. The antennal terminal process of Aphis sedi is 1.6-2.3 times the base of the sixth antennal segment (cf. Aphis gossypii which has the terminal process 2.1-3.2 times the base of the sixth antennal segment). The fused apical rostral segment (RIV+V) of Aphis sedi is 1.04-1.20 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HT2) (cf. Aphis gossypii where RIV+V is 1.00-1.57 times the length of HT2.) Their dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern is limited at most to dusky bands across tergites 7-8. The siphunculi of Aphis sedi are dark, but the antennae and legs have conspicuous pale sections (see first picture below). The siphunculi are 0.8-1.5 times the length of the cauda which is short, blunt and rather dark, only a little paler than the siphunculi (cf. Aphis gossypii where the cauda is usually pale/dusky, markedly paler than the siphunculi). The body length of Aphis sedi apterae is 1.0-1.6 mm.

The Aphis sedi alate (see second picture above) has a relatively strongly developed dorsal abdominal pattern with (on larger specimens) large marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, broad bands across tergites 6-8 and variably developed bars on some or all of tergites 1-5. The alate has 4-12 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment and 0-3 rhinaria on the fourth antennal segment.

The stonecrop aphid does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. It feeds on various stonecrops (Sedum spp.) forming large colonies up young stems, in flower heads or under leaves. It is attended by ants and causes distortion of the infested shoot. Aphis sedi occurs throughout Europe and parts of Asia as well as the eastern USA.

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Aphis serpylli (Thyme aphid) Europe, Middle East, Central Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis serpylli are rather dark blue-green, with a very slight wax bloom (see first two pictures below). The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern is usually limited to bands across tergites 7-8, but is lost in small individuals. Marginal tubercles are present on abdominal tergites 1 & 7, but not on tergites 2-6. Hairs on the legs are mostly rather short, but caudal hairs are long. The siphunculi have a marked flange and are 0.54-1.33 times as long as the cauda. The adult apterae are small with a body length of only 1.00-1.38 mm.

Alate Aphis serpylli (not pictured) have marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, which are often rather pale and inconspicuous, and bands on tergites 6-8 or 7-8.

Aphis serpylli does not host alternate, but is monoecious on thyme. It produces sexual forms. The males are wingless. Aphis serpylli feeds on the shoots and inflorescences of Thymus species, and certain on other members of the Lamiaceae (the mint family): Micromeria (a genus which includes White-leaved Savory) and Thymbra (a genus which includes Mediterranean thyme). Aphis serpylli is ant attended, which sometimes tent-over the colony. Aphis serpylli occurs in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia - albeit seldom recorded.

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Aphis solanella (Spindle-nightshade aphid) Europe, Asia, Africa, South America

Adult apterae of Aphis solanella are dull black or blackish brown, occasionally with white pleural transverse wax stripes. The longest hair on antennal segment III is 0.6-1.9 times the basal diameter of antennal segment three, in most specimens shorter than 1.5 times the basal diameter. The third antennal segment of the adult Aphis solanella aptera is 11-20 times longer than the longest hair borne upon it (c.f. Aphis fabae fabae & Aphis fabae cirsiiacanthoidis where the third antennal segment is 4-9 times longer than the longest hair borne upon it). The dorsum has variable dark markings usually with dark sclerotic bands on the pronotum, mesonotum and abdominal tergites 7 and 8, and small dark marginal sclerites. They have marginal tubercles on abdominal segments VI and usually also on I (see first picture below), and sometimes smaller ones on some of the segments II-IV.

Marginal tubercles are more often present on Aphis solanella than on the different subspecies of Aphis fabae, but about 40-50% of specimens still have no marginal tubercles on II-IV. The siphunculi and cauda are dark. The body length of the adult aptera is 1.2-2.6 mm.

In Europe Aphis solanella has spindle (Euonymus) as its primary host. It can also live on mock orange (Philadelphus) and viburnum (Viburnum), but it does not thrive well on the latter. Oviparae are rarely produced on Philadelphus and never on Viburnum. Aphis solanella migrates to a wide range of plants, including many used by Aphis fabae, as well as black nightshade (Solanum nigrum) and black bindweed (Fallopia convolvulus). It characteristically crumples and curls the leaves of black nightshade. Aphis solanella will not move to bean (Vicia faba), beet (Beta) or poppy (Papaver), but it can be a pest on tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and peppers (Capsicum annuum). Aphis solanella is found throughout Europe and in Asia, Africa and South America.

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Aphis spiraecola (Spirea aphid) Cosmopolitan

Adult apterae of Aphis spiraecola are bright greenish yellow to apple green. The abdominal dorsum is pale and usually entirely membranous. The fused last two rostral segments are less than 120 μm in length (cf. Aphis pomi which has the fused last two segments more than 130 μm in length). Marginal tubercles are restricted to abdominal tergites 1 & 7, with none present on abdominal tergites 2-4 (cf. Aphis pomi which has marginal tubercles on tergites 2-4 ). The femoral hairs are long and fine, the longest of them being longer than the diameter of the femur at its base. The siphunculi and cauda are black. The cauda usually has less than 12 hairs (7-15) (cf. Aphis pomi on which the cauda usually has more than 13 hairs (10-19)). The body length of an adult Aphis spiraecola aptera is 1.2-2.2 mm.

Alatae (see second picture above) have a dark brown head and thorax, and a yellowish-green abdomen with dusky marginal sclerites.

The secondary hosts of Aphis spiraecola are in over 20 plant families, especially shrubs in the Caprifoliaceae, Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae, and Rutaceae. In North America, Brazil and Japan the species also produce sexual forms on primary host - meadowsweets (Spiraea species), or sometimes citrus or apple. Aphis spiraecola is thought to have had its origin in the Far East. In most of the rest of the world it reproduces parthenogenetically on its secondary hosts all year round. Aphis spiraecola is a major pest of citrus fuits, mountain yarrow, apple (North America) and pears (China). It has a worldwide distribution in temperate and tropical regions.

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Aphis spiraephaga (Wax-banded spirea aphid) Europe, Middle East, West Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis spiraephaga (see large aphid in centre of first picture below) are dark greyish brown, with transverse dorsal bands of greyish-white wax (cf. Aphis spiraecola, which is green or yellowish green). The siphunculi and cauda are equally dark (cf.Aphis gossypii, which has the cauda paler than the siphunculi). The antennae & legs are also dark, except for antennal segment III, and the major part of the tibiae. The antennae are 6-segmented, 0.5-0.8 times the body length, with a terminal process 1.6-2.3 times the base of antennal segment VI. The longest hair on antennal segment III is 0.5-0.9 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis fabae and Aphis solanella, which both have the longest hair 1.0-3.4 times the basal diameter), and there are no secondary rhinaria. The rostrum reaches to, or behind, the middle coxae, and the apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.7-0.9 times the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The dorsum has a very variably developed pattern of sclerotization. The abdomen has marginal tubercles on segments I & VII, rarely with smaller ones on segments II-IV. The siphunculi are scaly, 0.7-1.1 times the caudal length (cf. Aphis spiraephila in North America, which has short siphunculi, only 0.4-0.5 times the cauda). The cauda has 7-17 hairs. The body length of adult Aphis spiraephaga apterae is 0.9-2.0 mm. Young immatures are usually light reddish brown, darkening as they mature, and with wax bands.

Images above by permission, copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserve

The alate viviparae of Aphis spiraephaga (just visible top right of 2nd image above) is blackish-brown or black, with a shining dorsum. The abdomen has dorsal cross bands, or transverse rows of sclerites. Antennal segment III bears 7-20 secondary rhinaria, IV has 0-5 rhinaria and V has 0-2.

Aphis spiraephaga is thought to usually be monoecious holocyclic on Spiraea. However, it may sometimes host alternate to a wide variety of other shrubs shrubs & herbs in summer, such as rockcress (Arabis), valerian (Centranthus), heath (Erica), meadowsweet (Filipendula), snowberry (Symphoricarpos), and valerian (Valeriana). The males are alate. Aphis spiraephaga lives in dense colonies on the young shoots. It often lives in mixed colonies with another Spiraea aphid, Aphis spiraecola. The colonies are frequently attended by ants. The wax-banded spirea aphid is found in Europe (but not UK), west Siberia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

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Aphis spiraephila (Brown spirea aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis spiraephila (see first picture below) vary in colour from hazel to chestnut-brown. They are coated with powdery white wax. The head, siphunculi and cauda are dusky or dark, but their antennae and legs are mainly pale. The antennal terminal process is 1.3-1.5 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. Abdominal tergites I and VII bear marginal tubercles. The siphunculi are quite short, only 0.4-0.5 times as lomg as the cauda (c.f. Aphis spiraecola, which has siphunculi more than 0.6 times the caudal length). The cauda bears 13-16 hairs. The body length of adult Aphis spiraephila apterae is 1.3-1.7 mm.

Both images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Aphis spiraephila alatae have a black head and thorax, but are otherwise coloured much like the apterae. Their siphunculi are cylindrical or slightly tapering without a distinct flange and sometimes slightly curved inwards. The cauda is elongate, spoon-shaped and bears 3-4 lateral and 3-4 dorso-lateral hairs on each side. Immatures also resemble the adults in general appearance.

Aphis spiraephila is found on the terminal shoots, leaves and twigs of meadowsweet (Spiraea species). They do not host alternate, but remain all year on meadowsweet. The brown spirea aphid is usually ant-attended. Sexual forms develop in autumn, with oviparae having been found in October. Oviparae are more spindle-shaped than the apterous viviparae, with pale hind tibiae that are hardly swollen and bear scattered rather large sensoria, mostly on the proximal half. Males are so far undescribed. Aphis spiraephila is a widespread North American species; records elsewhere (Ukraine & East Asia) are probably erroneous.

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Aphis symphyti (Comfrey aphid) Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis symphyti (see two pictures below) are dark green to pale yellowish green, more rarely lemon yellow. They are not covered in wax. Their antennae are 6-segmented with the terminal process 1.7-3.0 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.12-0.16 mm in length (cf. Aphis gossypii, which has RIV+V 0.075-0.135 mm long). The apterae have no dark markings anterior to the siphunculi, but may or may not have bands across tergites VII-VIII (cf. Aphis fabae, which usually has some dark markings anterior to the siphunculi, and always has well developed dark cross bands on tergites VII & VIII). There are marginal tubercles on tergites I and VII which are very variable in size. The femoral hairs are similarly variable in length, and may be less than or more than the least width of the hind tibiae. The siphunculi are uniformly dark, and are 1.2-1.7 times the length of the cauda. The cauda, which bears 5-8 hairs, is usually dusky, but in spring is sometimes black. The body length of adult Aphis symphyti apterae is 1.3-2.0 mm.

Note: This is one of the 'small frangulae' species much referred-to by Stroyan (a group of perhaps 10 species closely resembling Aphis frangulae, including Aphis lamiorum, Aphis parietariae, Aphis praeterita, Aphis ruborum, Aphis urticata). Aphis symphyti is difficult to distinguish from other members of this group on morphological grounds but, in most cases, differs in host. There are however some generalists in the group, most importantly Aphis gossypii, which is thought to occur on various genera in the Boraginaceae. Working solely from these photographs we cannot therefore be 100% certain of the identity of the aphids pictured here - given the host they are most likely Aphis symphyti, but could be Aphis gossypii.

First two images above, by permission copyright Dirk Baert, all rights reserved.
Third image above above, by permission copyright Marko Šćiban, all rights reserved.

Alatae have secondary rhinaria distributed 8-12 on antennal segment III, 1-4 on segment IV and 0-2 on segment V. They have well developed marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, bands across tergites VII & VII, a short bar on tergite VI and variably developed bands on tergites I-V (which may be absent).

Aphis symphyti has been recorded from several members of the Boraginaceae (the borage or forget-me-not family), although some of these may be misidentifications of Aphis gossypii. Aphis symphyti lives scattered under the leaves of comfrey (Symphytum officinale), the only host upon which it is known to reproduce sexually. As numbers increase, their colonies spread up the stems and on to the flower head (see pictures above). Dense colonies may be attended by ants. Sexuales develop in autumn, and eggs are deposited on comfrey. Aphis symphyti is found over most of Europe apart from Scandinavia and the Iberian peninsula.

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Aphis taraxacicola (Dandelion aphid) Europe, Asia, Canada

Aphis taraxacicola apterae are mottled dark green (see first picture below), and are not wax powdered. Their siphunculi are dark and the cauda is dusky. The terminal process of the sixth antennal segment is 2.1 to 2.8 times the length of the base of that segment. The abdominal sclerotic pattern varies from being heavily marked with dark intersegmental muscle sclerites and small marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites across tergites 7-8 to almost complete lack of any dark pigmentation. Abdominal marginal tubercles are rather large and prominent. The hairs on their legs are short with all femoral hairs shorter than the least width of the hind tibiae. Aphis taraxacicola siphunculi are 1.2 to 2.4 times the length of the cauda. The body length is 1.6 to 2.02 mm.

Aphis taraxacicola alates (second picture below) are also mottled dark green.

Aphis taraxacicola is closely related to Aphis hypochoeridis and Aphis crepidis, both of which share an association with yellow-flowered Asteraceae. The dandelion aphid is found on the root collar and under the rosette leaves of Taraxacum (dandelion) species, mostly in dry sunny places with low or sparse vegetation. Aphis taraxacicola is usually ant attended and the ants tent over the colony with soil particles. It does not host alternate and sexual forms are found in autumn. It is found throughout Britain and the rest of Europe and in Siberia, with additional records from Canada and Japan (Sugimoto & Takahashi, 1996).

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Aphis tormentillae (Tormentil aphid) Europe, North Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis tormentillae (uppermost aphid in picture below) are rather small and very dark blackish green, appearing black in life. The antennae of the adult aptera often only have five segments. The dorsal abdominal pattern of Aphis tormentillae aptera is confined to bands across tergites 7-8, small dark intersegmental muscle sclerites and sometimes rudimentary marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites.There are small protuberant marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites 1 and 7. Their siphunculi are short and stout, 0.64-1.00 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is finger-shaped and dark like the siphunculi. The body length of the Aphis tormentillae aptera is 1.00-1.67 mm.

 

The alatae have larger marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites with a median sclerite on tergite 6. Immatures are covered with a grey wax powder.

Aphis tormentillae lives scattered in small numbers on the leaf bases and in the flowers of tormentil (Potentilla erecta). It does not host alternate. Sexual forms occur in autumn. The males are winged and the oviparae have rather strongly swollen hind tibiae. It is widely distributed in Britain but from very few counties mostly in Scotland. It has only been recorded from one county in England (Sussex) and one in Wales (Merioneth), but there are more records from Scotland. Aphis tormentillae has been recorded from most of Europe and from Russia.

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Aphis tripolii (Sea aster aphid) Europe

Apterous Aphis tripolii are apple green with a dusky head and no wax powdering (see first picture below). The abdominal dorsum is entirely pale. The siphunculi are yellowish with dusky apices, and are 0.86-1.22 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is dusky with 5-9 hairs. The body length of Aphis tripolii is 1.3-2.45 mm.

Alate Aphis tripolii (see second picture above) have rather pale marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, and sometimes pale and inconspicuous bands across tergites 7-8. The siphunculi of alates are uniformly dusky sclerotic. Aphis tripolii nymphs have a faint dorsal pattern of wax powdered spots (see second picture above).

The sea aster aphid does not host alternate but remains all year on on the upper parts of the leaves and on the flowers of Tripolium pannonicum (sea aster). Sexual forms are produced in autumn. Aphis tripolii is found in coastal salt marshes or on mud flats in a few European countries including Britain. Our record for Hampshire appears to be a new one for that county as Aphis tripolii is previously only known from the coastal fringe from Kent round to Norfolk and in Wales.

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Aphis ulicis (Gorse aphid) Europe

The apterae of Aphis ulicis are very dark blackish green, but may appear greyish because of strong wax powdering (see first picture below). Their sclerotized dorsal abdominal shield may appear shiny black. The size and solidity of the dorsal shield in apterae is very variable - it may cover a large area or be greatly reduced or it may break up into irregular segmental bars or sclerites (as shown in the first micrograph below). Marginal tubercles are present on abdominal segments I and VII. The apical rostal segment is slender (more than 3 times as long as width at base) and pointed. It is narrower at its base than is the case in the very similar Aphis cytisorum. The siphunculi are dark and are 0.9-1.6 times as long the cauda. The cauda is also dark, but legs and antennae are mostly pale. The body length of Aphis ulicis apterae is 1.3-2.4 mm. Immatures (see second picture below) are usually more heavily waxed than the adults.

The alate viviparous female (see third picture above) has marginal sclerites and pigmented cross bars on each segment, those on V-VII reaching to the marginal sclerites. The oviparous female is less extensively pigmented than the vivipara. The male is winged and without cross bars on tergites I-VI.

The gorse aphid is monoecious feeding only on gorse (Ulex spp.) where it forms dense colonies on shoots, flowers and green seedpods. It is usually ant attended. Sexual forms occur in autumn. Aphis ulicis is widely distributed and often common in Britain, but is otherwise only known from Spain and the Netherlands.

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Aphis ulmariae (Small meadowsweet aphid) Europe, Asia

Aphis ulmariae live in pseudogalls comprised of the more or less curled terminal leaves of meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmariae, see first picture below). Adult apterae are generally described as mottled dark green in life but (as the second picture below shows) some are yellow mottled with green, similar to the colour variation shown by its closest relative Aphis ruborum. They are not wax coated. The antennal terminal process is 2.0-2.6 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis ruborum, which has a terminal process 2.5-3.6 times the length of the base of that segment). The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.13-1.45 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern may be absent, or reduced to dusky bands on tergites VII & VIII. The siphunculi are rather pale dusky, darkening slightly from base to apex, and 1.15-2.00 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is bluntly subtriangular to elongate tongue-shaped. The usual body length of adult Aphis ulmariae apterae is 1.4-2.4 mm, but summer dwarfs are only 1.1-1.4 mm.

Images above by permission copyright Mark Wilson, all rights reserved.

Alatae of Aphis ulmariae have marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites, narrow bands across tergites VII-VIII, and occasionally sclerites on one or more of tergites I-VI.

Aphis ulmariae lives on meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) with no host alternation. It has also been recorded from Spiraea salicifolia. Early in the year it lives in crumpled leaf pseudogalls, later moving to the inflorescence which is changed to a tight bunch. The aphids are usually attended by ants, which nevertheless leave the aphids rapidly if disturbed. Sexuales are produced in autumn. The males are alate, and oviparae have moderately swollen hind tibiae. Stroyan (1984), considered the species rare in Britain, with it only having been recorded from Surrey, Berkshire, Cambridge and Caernarvon. The aphids shown here were found in Berkshire. Aphis ulmariae is distributed throughout most of Europe into west and east Siberia, Kazakhstan and Korea. It was recorded in North America, but Footit (2006) established that at least some of these records were misidentifications.

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Aphis umbrella (Umbrella aphid) Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, North America

Adult apterae of Aphis umbrella (see first picture below) are pale green or yellowish green usually mottled with darker green. The abdominal dorsum in apterae is quite pale. The siphunculi in apterae are usually pale, often becoming slightly dusky at the apex. The siphunculi are 1.53 to 2.06 times the length of the cauda. The body length of Aphis umbrella apterae is 1.7-2.3 mm.

In alatae (see second picture above) the sclerotic pattern is confined to rather pale postsiphuncular and marginal sclerites and sometimes pale and inconspicuous bands across tergites 7-8. The siphunculi are uniformly dusky. Aphis umbrella alatae have 4-13 secondary rhinaria distributed on the third antennal segment, 0-5 on the fourth, and 0-1 on the fifth antennal segment.

Aphis umbrella feeds on mallows (Malva spp.) and certain other Malvaceae, causing umbrella-like leaf-curl pseudogalls of the terminal leaves. It does not host alternate. Sexual forms appear in autumn, although reproduction is probably entirely parthenogenetic in warmer climes. It is often ant-attended. In Britain the umbrella aphid has long been known from coastal localities in Sussex, Essex and Suffolk. It has more recently been recorded in several sites in Wales and Dorset. Aphis umbrella is found in Europe, Middle East and Central Asia and has been introduced to North America.

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Aphis urticata (Dark green nettle aphid) Europe, Asia

Aphis urticata is a small to medium size aphid. Early generations of the dark green nettle aphid are dark bluish-green (see first picture below) with no wax covering. Later generations of dwarf summer apterae become pale yellowish. The abdominal dorsum is either unsclerotized or rarely with rather narrow dusky bands across tergites 7-8. The longest posterior hairs on the femora, and the longest tibial hairs, are always much longer than the least width of the tibiae. The pale tapering siphunculi are usually slightly dusky, and are 0.90-1.78 times the length of the cauda. The tongue shaped cauda is also pale. The body length of adult Aphis urticata apterae is 1.7-2.2 mm.

Aphis urticata alatae (see second picture above) have more sclerotization than apterae with bands across tergites 7-8 and some marginal sclerites. The siphunculi of alates are uniformly dusky and cylindical. The body length of the alate is 1.5-1.8 mm.

Early generations of the dark green nettle aphid form dense colonies on stems and leaves of the common nettle (Urtica dioica). The dwarf summer form of Aphis urticata can be found scattered on the undersides of the leaves. The dark green nettle aphid is generally common, and sometimes abundant, throughout Europe and into Asia.

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Aphis vandergooti (Yarrow root aphid) Europe

Adult Aphis vandergooti apterae (see first picture below) are dark blue-green (or rarely yellow), with blotchy paler areas and no wax powdering. There is usually no dorsal abdominal sclerotic pattern, or there may be narrow bands across tergites 7-8. Marginal tubercles are large and conspicuous but rather flattened (best seen in the micrographs of preserved specimens below). Leg hairs are all very short, much shorter than the least width of tibiae. The siphunculi are tapering, usually widening slightly at the apex with a very small apical flange. The siphunculi are 1.93-2.57 times the length of the cauda. The body length of Aphis vandergooti apterae is 1.4 to 2.0 mm. Immatures (see second picture below) are a dappled light green.

Aphis vandergooti alatae (see third picture above) are dark blue-green and have 3-7 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment.

Aphis vandergooti does not host alternate. It lives in ant shelters on the roots, stolons and basal leaf petioles of composite plants of the tribe Anthemideae, especially yarrow (Achillea millefolium), wild chamomile (Matricaria), and tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) (see third picture above). Apterous males are produced in autumn. In Britain Aphis vandergooti is widely distributed, but not very much recorded. It is widespread in Europe, but apparently commoner in northern Europe.

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Aphis varians (Variable currant aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis varians (see two pictures below) are dark blue-green to greenish-brown or orange-brown with a rather uniform powdering of wax; the siphunculi are pale and the cauda is mainly dark or dusky. The hairs on antennal segment III are very long, fine & wavy, 1.8-4 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Aphis epilobii and Aphis oenotherae, both in Europe & USA, which have those hairs only 1-2 times the basal diameter). The antennal terminal process is 1.5-2.0 times the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphis epilobii & Aphis oenotherae, which both have the terminal process more than 2 times the base of that segment). The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) has 6-12 accessory hairs (cf. Aphis praeterita, Aphis frangulae, Aphis asclepiadis & Aphis gossypii, which all have only 2 accessory hairs on RIV+V). There are marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites I & VII, but tergites II-V only sporadically have small marginal tubercles (cf. Aphis schneideri in Europe & Asia, which has well-developed marginal tubercles on all abdominal tergites other than VI). The siphunculi are milky-white, with dusky tips, and the cauda is dark or dusky. The body length of adult Aphis varians apterae is 1.0-2.2 mm. Immatures are dull green.

First image above copyright M. Alex Smith, CBG Photography Group,
second image copyright Andrew Jensen, both under a cc by-nc-sa licence.

The alate Aphis varians has the head and thorax black, and the abdomen dark green, with transverse dark bands on the posterior segments. The siphunculi and the cauda are dark. There are 20-30 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, about 15 on segment IV and a few on segment V.

Aphis varians is found on the spring growth of currants (Ribes spp.), where it crumples the leaves and stunts growth. The species is heteroecious holocyclic, migrating in late spring to willowherbs (Onagraceae), especially fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium). It is attended by ants. Aphis varians is found throughout North America. There are records of Aphis varians from Mongolia and east Siberia, but these are likely misidentifications (see Aphids on World Plants).

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Aphis veratri (European hellebore aphid) Europe

The original description of adult apterae of Aphis veratri states they are black, not shining, with a slight greyish wax bloom. They have since been redescribed as dark greenish-brown. Our (sadly rather blurred) pictures suggest they are somewhat variable in colour varying from reddish-brown to black. The antennal terminal process is 2.3-3.4 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. Antennal segment III has 8-12 hairs. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.2-1.7 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). There are usually marginal tubercles on abdominal segments II-IV as well as on I & VII. The siphunculi are 0.8-2.1 times the length of the cauda. The body length of an adult aptera is 1.5-2.3 mm.

Both images above copyright Alan Outen, all rights reserved.

Aphis veratri lives only on hellebores (Veratrum species), mainly the white hellebore (Veratrum album), where it is attended by ants. It feeds on the undersides of the leaves (but not on the upper stem and inflorescences where Aphis fabae may be found). There are very few aphids that will feed on white hellebore, probably because of the high levels of toxic alkaloids to which Aphis veratri is doubtless adapted. It does not host alternate. Sexual forms may be found in late summer. Aphis veratri is found in much of Europe but not in Scandinavia, Britain or Iberia.

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Aphis verbasci (Mullein aphid) Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Asia

Adult apterae of Aphis verbasci are bright golden-yellow to pale-green and slightly wax-powdered (see first two pictures below). The apical rostral segment is very narrow, only slightly tapering and about 3.5-5.0 times as long as its basal width. Bands may occur on tergites 7-8, but may be absent. There is also a pair or irregular dark pleural sclerites on tergite 5 in front of the siphuncular bases - these are just visible in the two adult apterae in picture below, but are clearer in older adults. The black siphunculi are rather heavily built, strongly tapering and usually with a distinct outward curvature at the extreme base. The cauda of Aphis verbasci is short and tapering.

Second image copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserved.

Aphis verbasci alates (see picture below) have marginal sclerites on tergites 2-4, postsiphuncular sclerites, strong bands across tergites 7-8 and a small irregular median sclerite on tergite 6.

The mullein aphid lives under basal leaves of mullein (Verbascum spp.), but it can also feed on buddleia (Buddleja spp.), Eryobotria japonica, Lantana camara, and Scrophularia. Very large populations can build up in late summer on the underside of buddleja leaves that are lying (more or less) flat on the ground. Oviparae and wingless males have been recorded in October. Aphis verbasci is found in Europe east into Russia, the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Northern India.

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Aphis viburni (Viburnum aphid) Europe

Apterae of Aphis viburni are slate-coloured, brownish green or dark brown, sometimes with paired pleural wax spots on the abdomen. The sclerotic dark banding of the dorsum (just visible in the first picture below) is variable, confined to abdominal tergites 6-8 in smaller apterae, but with broken bands often present on some anterior tergites in larger specimens. Marginal tubercles are conspicuous (the brown lumps in the foreground of the second picture below) and subconical, very constant on tergites 1-4 but only irregularly on 5-6 (cf. Aphis fabae which does not generally have tubercles on each of tergites 1-4). Hairs on the femur and tibia are very long and fine and much longer than the least width of the tibia. The body length of Aphis viburni apterae is 1.83-3.04 mm.

The dark banding of the dorsum is more regular in the alates (see second picture above). Males are wingless.

Aphis viburni does not host alternate but remains all year on Viburnum opulus (guelder rose). Aphis viburni can most readily be distinguished from Aphis fabae (which can also use Viburnum opulus - as a primary host) by the gall of strongly curled leaves (see pictures below) that it produces. Aphis fabae does not produce a gall. The gall provides shelter for both the aphids and attendant ants.Sexual forms are produced in autumn. The viburnum aphid is found in southern England and over much of Europe.

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Aphis viburniphila (American viburnum aphid) North America

Adult apterae of Aphis viburniphila (see first picture below) are reddish brown mottled with paler shades and marked with darker areas around and behind their siphunculi. They are not dusted with wax (cf. Aphis crassicauda & Ceruraphis viburnicola, which are both wax-dusted). The siphunculi are black and the cauda is dusky. Their antennae and tibiae are whitish to yellow with darkened apices. The femora are mainly brown, but pale basally. Antennal segment III often bears up to 15 small rhinaria, not in a row (cf. Aphis crassicauda, which has no rhinaria on segment III, except in obvious alatiforms). There are rarely any marginal tubercles on abdominal tergites II-IV (cf. Aphis viburni, which always has at least 6 marginal tubercles on those tergites). The tibiae bear long, erect hairs nearly twice as long as the diameter of the tibiae. The cauda is parallel-sided to blunt-tapering, with its length 0.9-1.3 times its basal width (cf. Aphis crassicauda, which has a cauda with length 0.5-0.9 times is basal width). The body length of adult apterae is 1.7-2 mm. Immature Aphis viburniphila (see second picture below) are reddish brown, with distinct darkened areas around the siphuncular bases.

First two images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.
Third image above copyright Beatriz Moisset, via BugGuide, under a Creative Commons license.

Alatae of Aphis viburniphila have 20-28 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III (not in a row), 5-7 on segment IV, and 0-2 on segment V (cf. Aphis crassicauda, the alatae of which have 7-14 secondary rhinaria on segment III in a row, and none on segments IV and V).

Aphis viburniphila feeds on the leaves and stems of some species of Viburnum (see below for details). It does not host alternate, but remains all-year on Viburnum. Note that Aphis viburniphila is not found on blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) so is unlikely to be confused with Aphis illinoisensis. Sexual forms are thought to develop in autumn - oviparae have been found in October, but males have so far not been recorded. Aphis viburniphila is widely distributed in North America.

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Aphis violae (Violet aphid) Europe

Adult apterae of Aphis violae are dark green, mottled to a greater or lesser extent with pale green. The terminal process of the antenna is 2.4-3.7 times the length of the base of the sixth antennal segment. The abdominal sclerotic pattern is variable, with the most heavily marked having dark intersegmental muscle sclerites, small marginal and postsiphuncular sclerites and bars across tergites 7 and 8. Marginal tubercles are rather large, especially in alates.The siphunculi are black and 1.63-2.00 times the length of the dusky cauda. The body length of Aphis violae adult aptera is 1.1-2.0 mm.

Alates have 5-10 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment and 0-3 on the fourth.

Aphis violae lives basally on various species of violet (Viola) including sweet violet (Viola odorata) and dog violet (Viola riviniana). It does not host alternate. It is usually attended by ants which cover the aphid colony with soil particles. Sexual forms develop in autumn. Aphis violae is widely distributed in Britain and most of Europe.

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Aphis vitalbae (Variable clematis aphid) Europe

The dorsum of adult Aphis vitalbae apterae has no wax (cf. Aphis clematidis, which is covered with powdery wax). The colour of the dorsum varies from very dark green (see first picture below) to mottled dark and pale green to pale green or yellowish (see second picture below). The antennae are pale, except for segment VI which has both the base and the terminal process darkened (cf. Myzus varians which has conspicuously banded antennae). The antennal terminal process is 1.7-3.5 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment is 1.1-1.7 times longer than the second segment of the hind tarsus (cf. Aphis clematidis which has the apical rostral segment 0.75-1.0 times longer than the second segment of the hind tarsus). The siphunculi are either completely pale or dusky/dark at the apices (but see below for more discussion on this), and are 1.3-2.1 times as long as the cauda. The cauda is pale or dusky and is 0.17-0.21 mm long. The body length of the adult Aphis vitalbae aptera is 1.2-1.9 mm. Immature Aphis vitalbae show the same range of colour variation, but may show some light wax dusting.

The alate Aphis vitalbae (see third picture above) has a black head and thorax, with the abdominal dorsum mottled dark and light green, and dark siphunculi. The first picture below shows an adult aptera dorsal in alcohol. The second picture below shows a clarified mount of one of our specimens.

Aphis vitalbae feeds on the shoot tips, petioles and undersides of leaves of Clematis. It does not host alternate, but remains on clematis all year. In Southern Europe and in England it is attended by ants. Oviparae and males have been recorded in Poland. Until recently Aphis vitalbae has been regarded as a Southern European species, occurring in France, Greece, Italy and Spain. Since the 1960s (possibly earlier) the species has expanded its range northwards to include Bulgaria, Rumania, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Georgia. There are no previous published records this species in Britain, but the Natural History Museum holds two such records from 1945 and 2011. We have so far only found it in one British location on clematis growing in an industrial estate in Andover, Hampshire.

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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).

Useful weblinks

References

  • Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.

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

  • Stroyan, H.L.G. (1984). aphids - Pterocommatinae and Aphidinae (Aphidini). Handbooks for the identification of British insects. 2(6). Royal Entomological Society of London.