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Aphidinae : Aphidini: Braggia longicauda
 

 

Braggia longicauda

Woolly buckwheat aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution Other aphids on the same host

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Braggia longicauda are black, blackish grey or blackish brown, with dense white wax powdering over the whole body, and antennae that are dark except for the basal half or more of antenal segment III. The antennae are quite short, 0.550.90 times the body length, with the terminal process 1.301.94 times the base of segment VI. The longest hair on antennal segment III is always shorter than the basal diameter of that segment. The antennae are without secondary rhinaria (cf. Braggia eriogoni and Braggia columbiana, which have secondary rhinaria on segments IV & V). The rostrum extends to the metacoxae. The dorsal integument is faintly to moderately reticulate on the head and abdominal dorsum. The pronotum, and abdominal tergites I & VII have marginal tubercles. The legs are mostly brown to black, but sometimes with the femora basal parts, and the tibiae middle areas are paler. The siphunculi are relatively short, subcylindrical, tapering and flanged. The cauda is long at 0.13-0.23 mm (cf. Braggia urovaneta, which has the cauda 0.08-0.12 mm) and bears 411 hairs. The body length of adult Braggia longicauda apterae is 1.5-2.9 mm.

First two images copyright James Bailey, third image copyright Thayne Tuason,
all under a under a Creative Commons License.

Braggia longicauda alate viviparae have similar morphological features to those of apterous viviparae. They have 8-14 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and 0-1 on segment IV. There are irregular stripes and marginal sclerites on the abdominal terga.

Braggia longicauda is mainly found on the stems of tall woolly buckwheat (Eriogonum elatum) (see third picture above) and, less frequently, on arrowleaf buckwheat (Eriogonum compositum). They are monoecious holocyclic, with apterous and alate viviparae occuring from late May to early October, and oviparae and alate males occuring in September-October. Pike (2009) found Lysiphlebus testaceipes to be the predominant primary parasitoid of Braggia longicauda, and suggests Braggia species may be useful as a host source for this parasitoid, which is broadly oligophagous and an important agent for natural biological control of many economically important aphids. The woolly buckwheat aphid is found in western USA, namely Washington, Oregon and California.

 

Other aphids on the same host

Braggia longicauda has been recorded from 2 wild buckwheat species (Eriogonum compositum, Eriogonum elatum).

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to James Bailey and Thayne Tuason for making their pictures available for use under creative commons licences.

We have used the keys and species accounts of Pike (2009) along with information from Roger Blackman & Victor Eastop in Aphids on Worlds Plants. We fully acknowledge these authors and those listed in the reference sections 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

  • Pike et al. (2009). New species of Braggia (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on buckwheat in western North America. The Canadian Entomologist 141(6), 561-581. Full text