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Calaphidinae : Calaphidini : Betacallis


Genus Betacallis

Betacallis aphids

On this page: Genus Betacallis alnicolens

Betacallis [Callipterini]

Betacallis aphids all have a transverse dark brown to black bar ventrally between the eyes, which extends on to the prothorax (cf. Hannabura and Illinoia species on Alnus, which do not have a transverse black band). The antennae are much longer than the body. Antennal segment III has one row of oblong secondary rhinaria on the basal two thirds. The rostrum reaches nearly to the middle coxae. The head is short, nearly the length of the pronotum. The forewings are shorter than the antennae, the pterostigma is long and lanceolate, the stigma vein is strongly curved, the first oblique vein is robust, and the second and third are nearly parallel. The hind wings are rather small with 2 obliques. Siphunculi are long, nearly 3 times as long as broad, distinctly constricted at the middle, and somewhat trumpet-shaped at the apex. The cauda is long, nearly twice as long as broad, and constricted near the base. The legs are long, and the femora are somewhat thickened.

Six species of Betacallis are known. All viviparae are alate, active insects, rather like Euceraphis. Most Betacallis species are recorded from birches (Betulaceae), although one species (Betacallis prunicola) has apparently become associated with Prunus. All species are from east and south-east Asia.


Betacallis alnicolens (Hanno-higenagabuchi, Wax-spotted green alder aphid) East Asia

All viviparae of Betacallis alnicolens are alate. Alate viviparae are blotchy pale green and yellow with 4 longitudinal rows of white wax spots on the dorsum. Their antennal tubercles are well developed. The head is smooth, with 4 pairs of long, pointed hairs dorsally. The antennae are about 1.6 times as long as body. Antennal segment III has about 23 transversely elongate secondary rhinaria in a row on the basal 0.5-0.6 of the segment. The terminal process is about 1.8 times as long as base of the segment VI (cf. Calaphis alni, whose terminal process is more than twice as long as the segment base). The rostrum is short, not reaching the middle coxae. The apical rostral segment is slightly shorter than the second hind tarsal segment. The wings are hyaline, and most veins are narrowly brown-bordered. Abdominal marginal tubercles are well developed, those on segments IV & V being especially large. The femora, which are mainly yellow brown but darkened distally, are long, and narrowed towards their base. The tibiae are dark and have many spines on the distal part. The siphunculi are mostly dusky, but pale at the base, distinctly over twice as long as wide at their middle, tapered toward apex, and with the flange moderately developed. The body length of alate Betacallis alnicolens viviparae is about 3.5 mm.

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

Betacallis alnicolens is monoecious, feeding on the leaves of several species of alder (Alnus) especially Manchurian alder (Alnus hirsuta), East Asian alder (Alnus japonica) and Alnus matsumurae. There is also a record from Corylus mandshurica. Being unusually large and very active, Betacallis alnicolens is very conspicuous on alder trees. It is found in Japan, Korea and China.



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

We have used the keys and species accounts of Matsumura (1919), Higuchi (1972) and Quednau & Shaposhnikov (1988), together with information from Roger Blackman & Victor Eastop in Aphids on Worlds Plants. 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


  • Higuchi, H. (1972). A taxonomic study of the subfamily Callipterinae in Japan (Homoptera:Aphididae). Insecta Matsumurana 35, 19-126. Full text

  • Matsumura, S. (1919). New species and genera of Callipterinae of Japan. Transactions of the Sapporo Natural History Society 7(2), (p. 110).

  • Quednau, F.W. & Shaposhnikov, G.C. (1988). A list of Drepanosiphine aphids from the Soviet Far East, with descriptions of new species (Homoptera: Aphidoidea). The Canadian Entomologist 72, 20. (p1023)