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Genus Drepanaphis

Drepanaphis aphids

On this page: Genus Drepanaphis Drepanaphis acerifoliae

Drepanaphis [Drepanosiphinae]

Drepanaphis are moderate-sized aphids native to the Americas. The adult viviparae are all winged. Their most conspicuous feature is the dorsal abdominal tubercles that are variably developed on abdominal tergites I-IV and are often conspicuously pigmented. The siphunculi are flask-shaped. Alate males and apterous oviparae develop in autumn, and they overwinter in the egg stage.

There are 17 species of Drepanaphis all feeding on maples (Aceraceae). They are all native to North America but one species, Drepanaphis acerifoliae, has proved to be invasive and is now found in several continental European countries.

 

Drepanaphis acerifoliae (aphid)

All adult viviparae of Drepanaphis acerifoliae are winged. The alate (see pictures below) has the head and thorax reddish-brown, with three broken longitudinal white wax stripes on the head and pronotum, and white wax markings on the meso- and metathorax. There is also white wax on the anterior abdomen and posterior to the siphunculi. The wings have dark-bordered veins. The abdomen of Drepanaphis acerifoliae is somewhat paler than the thorax and bears dark dorsal tubercles at least on abdominal tergites III-IV and dark flask-shaped (= conical at base, tubular at top) siphunculi. The adult body length of Drepanaphis acerifoliae is 1.9-2.3 mm.

First image above copyright Marko Šćiban, all rights reserved.
Second image above copyright Tom Murray under a Creative Commons 1.0 License.

The painted maple aphid does not host alternate but feeds only on maples, mainly Acer saccharinum and Acer rubrum. Sexual forms comprising apterous (= wingless) oviparae and alate males occur in September and October. Drepanaphis acerifoliae is native to North America where it is common and widespread. It was introduced to Europe on its foodplant Acer saccharinum, and has previously been found in Italy, Spain and Hungary. With the record reported here (first image above), we can now include Serbia in its distribution.

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Acknowledgements

We are extremely grateful to Marko Šćiban (HabitProt) for the image of live Drepanaphis acerifoliae in Serbia, and to Mihajlo Tomić for putting us in touch with Marco. 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 sp 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).

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References

  • Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.