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Black monkshood aphidOn this page: Identification & Distribution Other aphids on the same host
Identification & Distribution
Adult apterae of Brachycaudus aconiti (see picture below) have a light brown head and a shining black sclerotic abdominal dorsum, with the underside of the abdomen and the antennae, legs and siphunculi also black (cf. Brachycaudus napelli, which has an extensive black sclerotic shield over most of the dorsum, but the posterior, and much of the underside, are dark crimson). Antennal tubercles are low. The antennae are about 0.6 times body length with the terminal process about 3.1-3.5 times the base of antennal segment VI. There are 0-8 (but more on alatiform specimens) secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III (cf. Brachycaudus napelli, which has 10-25 rhinaria on segment III). The longest hair on antennal segment III is 0.8-1.2 times the maximum diameter of that segment. The rostrum reaches to the hind coxae or nearly so. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.1-1.3 (1.6) times as long as the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) with 7-9 accessory hairs (cf. Brachycaudus napelli, which has RIV+V 0.9-1.2 times the length of HTII). There are marginal tubercles on the prothorax and some abdominal segments. The siphunculi are about 0.11-0.12 times the body length and 2.3-2.6 times the caudal length. The cauda is short, rounded, pentagonal with 10-13 hairs. The body length of adult Brachycaudus aconiti apterae is 2.7-2.9 mm.
Image above copyright Brbol under a creative common licence.
There is no description available of the alatae Brachycaudus aconiti, but they are likely similar to the closely related Brachycaudus napelli. They bear 7-13 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III. Immatures are green with a light brown head.
For more pictures of Brachycaudus aconiti see:
Brachycaudus aconiti is monoecious on Aconitum spp. and Delphinium spp. It mainly feeds on the flower stems and leaf petioles, and rarely on the undersides of leaves. The species is holocyclic, with apterous males and oviparae. Brachycaudus aconiti is found in central, south and south-east Europe, Central Asia and Siberia.
Other aphids on the same host
Brachycaudus aconiti has been recorded from 16 Aconitum (Monkshood, Wolfsbane) species.
Brachycaudus aconiti has also been recorded from Consolida regalis(=forking larkspur, rocket-larkspur, field larkspur).