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Identification & Distribution

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.

Images of clarified mounts, above, copyright Brendan Wray under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.

Aphis odinae immatures are also similarly coloured to the adults (red-brown or dark green) with dark siphunculi. Many immatures along with adults can be seen in the picture below of a colony feeding along the main vein of a Pittosporum leaf.

Image above by permission, copyright Lu Zhaozhi, all rights reserved.

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.

 

Biology & Ecology

Life cycle

Until recently, Aphis odinae was thought to be permanently parthenogenetic, with no known sexual morphs. It is now apparent that this species is native to Japan, or that part of temperate east Asia, where there is an annual sexual generation (Blackman et al., 2011).

Image above by permission, copyright Lu Zhaozhi, all rights reserved.

One or more permanently parthenogenetic lineages have spread through the tropics and subtropics, where they are either inhibited from producing, or have lost the ability to produce, sexual morphs. Both Aphis (Toxoptera) citricidus and Aphis nerii were also believed to be permanently parthenogenetic, until sexual morphs were found in Japan.

Natural enemies

From June to October in 2011 Vidya & Rajanna (2014) conducted a field study of the natural enemy complex of Aphis odinae in the 5-year-old cashew plantation at Karnataka, India. Three species of coccinellids, four species of syrphids and a species each of hemerobiid (= a Neuropteran 'brown lacewing') and chrysopid comprised the group of aphidophagous predators on Aphis odinae. Among the coccinellids, Pseudaspidimerus flaviceps was the predominant predator. Cheilomenes sexmaculata and Scymnus castaneus were less common. Among the syrphid predators, the dominant species were Paragus yerburiensis and Paragus serratus followed by Dideopsis aegrota. Also Ischidon scutellaris was encountered occasionally.

Maruthadurai & Singh (2017) conducted a field survey from 2014 to 2015 in cashew plantations to record the incidence of Aphis odinae and its predators. This revealed the occurrence of six species of aphidophagous predators comprising three coccinellid species (Scymnus castaneus, Cheilomenes sexmaculata and Pseudaspidimerus flaviceps) and three syrphid species (Paragus serratus, Dideopsis aegrota and Ischidon scutellaris). The dominant coccinellid species were Scymnus castaneus followed by Cheilomenes sexmaculata (see picture below), and Pseudaspidimerus flaviceps.

Image above copyright Richard Ong under a Creative Commons Non Commercial Licence.

Of the syrphids, Paragus serratus was the major predator. Seasonal abundance of predators was synchronized with the aphid with a maximum occurrence during February 2015. The aphid population gradually reduced from April onwards due to the voracious feeding activity of the predators. It was concluded that the aphidophagous predators played a major role in managing the aphid Aphis odinae in cashew and could be encouraged for augmentation and conservation of these predators in a cashew based ecosystem.

 

Other aphids on the same host

 

Damage and control

Aphis (Toxoptera) odinae is particularly important on tropical shrubs including Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae), Aralia (Araliaceae), Rhododendron (Ericaceae), and Viburnum (Caprifoliaceae), but also attacks cashew, citrus, coffee, and mango. It has been implicated in the transmission of at least 2 plant viruses.

Shukla & Prasad (1983) carried out a field trial in Karnataka, India, in 1980 to determine the effectiveness of 7 insecticides against Aphis (Toxoptera) odinae on mango. The insecticides monocrotophos (Nuvacron), dimethoate (Rogor), demeton-S-methyl (Metasystox) or phosphamidon (Dimecron) at 0.05% were the most effective, resulting in almost 100% control of the pest for up to 7 days after spraying. Malathion and quinalphos (Ekalux) at 0.05% and endosulfan (Thiodan) at 0.07% were less effective. It was concluded that the pest could be controlled effectively and economically by spraying alternately with 0.05% phosphamidon and dimethoate during the flowering period.

Acknowledgements

We are especially grateful to Dr Lu Zhaozhi of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and to Sunil Joshi & J. Poorani, Aphids of Karnataka for permission to reproduce their images of the live aphids.

We have made provisional identifications from high resolution photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity. In the great majority of cases, identifications have been confirmed by microscopic examination of preserved specimens. We have used the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006) supplemented with Blackman (1974), Stroyan (1977), Stroyan (1984), Blackman & Eastop (1984), Heie (1980-1995), Dixon & Thieme (2007) and Blackman (2010). We fully acknowledge these authors as the source for the (summarized) taxonomic information we have presented. Any errors in identification or information are ours alone, and we would be very grateful for any corrections. For assistance on the terms used for aphid morphology we suggest the figure provided by Blackman & Eastop (2006).

Useful weblinks

References

  • Blackman, R.L. et al. (2011). Sexual morphs and colour variants of Aphis (formerly Toxoptera) odinae (Hemiptera, Aphididae) in Japan. Zootaxa 3110, 5360. Full text

  • Maruthadurai, R. & Singh, N.P. (2017). A report on occurrence of aphidophagous predators of Aphis odinae (van der Goot) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in cashew ecosystem from Goa, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(2), 9858-9861. Full text

  • Shukla, R. P & Prasad, V. G. (1983). The chemical control of mango aphid, Toxoptera odinae van der Goot. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 53(12), 1058-1060. Google Scholar

  • Vidya, M. & Rajanna, K. M. (2014). Role of insect predators in the control of Toxoptera odinae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in cashew plantation. Biopesticides International 10(1), 112-115. Google Scholar