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Chastetree aphidOn this page: Identification & Distribution Other aphids on the same host
Identification & Distribution
In spring and early summer adult apterae of Aphis viticis (see first picture below) are mottled dark & pale grass-green with brown siphunculi. In midsummer dwarf forms predominate, which are pale straw-coloured with pale siphunculi. The longest hairs on antennal segment III are 0.4-0.75 times the basal diameter of that segment. The apical rostral segment is 1.05-1.30 times the second hind tarsal segment (HTII), and tapers almost to a point (cf. the polyphagous aphid species Aphis fabae, Aphis gossypii, Aphis nasturtii, Myzus ornatus & Myzus persicae, which all have RIV+V with blunt or rounded apex). The hairs on the hind tibiae are all shorter than the width of the tibia at midlength. Abdominal tergites I & VII have marginal tubercles. The siphunculi are tapering, pale or dark, or darker towards apices, and are 0.8-1.7 times the caudal length. The cauda is pale with 6-13 hairs. The body length of adult Aphis viticis apterae is 0.8-1.7 mm.
Both images above copyright Savvas Zafeiriou under a Creative Commons licence.
Alatae of Aphis viticis have antennae 0.54-0.67 times as long as the body, with 4-8 secondary rhinaria on segment III, and 0-2 on segment IV. The abdomen is green, with sclerotized bars on tergites II-IV and VI-VIII.
Image above copyright Savvas Zafeiriou under a creative common licence.
Aphis viticis is monoecious on chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus). The species is holocyclic, with alate males. Colonies are assiduously ant-attended (see especially second picture above). It is found over most of southern Europe (including Spain, Mallorca, France, Italy, former Yugoslavia, and Greece) and the Middle East (Israel, Iran & Turkey).
Other aphids on the same host
Aphis viticis has been recorded on 1 Vitex species (Vitex agnus-castus)
Blackman & Eastop list 6 species of aphid as feeding on Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 5 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).