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Joint pine aphidOn this page: Identification & Distribution Other aphids on the same host
Identification & Distribution
Adult apterae of Ephedraphis ephedrae (see larger individuals in pictures below) are dark violet-brown in colour, with short black siphunculi and cauda. Sometimes (usually?) they have discrete whitish wax bands over each tergite (but note recently-moulted aphids have little or no wax). The antennae are 6-segmented, with segments I, II, the upper part of V, and all of VI dark, the remainder pale. The antennae are about 0.5-0.7 times body length, with a terminal process 1.4-1.6 times the base of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment is 0.7-0.8 times the second hind tarsal segment. The apices of the femora and tibiae, and all the tarsi are dark pigmented. First tarsal chaetotaxy (=bristle arrangement) is 3, 3, 3 (fore, mid, hind). There are small marginal tubercles on the pronotum and tergites I & VII, and sometimes on some of tergites II-V. The siphunculi are 2.1-3.1 times the cauda, which is very short and rounded. The subgenital plate has 12-14 posterior hairs, distributed in two groups on the posterior margin. Body length of adult Ephedraphis ephedrae apterae is 1.12-2.10 mm.
Both images above copyright faluke, under a Creative Commons License.
The alate Ephedraphis ephedrae (see single alate in second picture above) are similar to the apterae, but with large marginal sclerites on tergites II-IV. Secondary rhinaria are distributed 8-11 on antennal segment III and 0-1 on segment IV.
Image above copyright falconaumanni, under a Creative Commons License.
Ephedraphis ephedrae is monoecious on the stems of many different Ephedra species, including in Europe joint pine (Ephedra fragilis, see picture above). Populations are holocyclic, with oviparae and alate males in late September to early November. The species is found in southern Europe (Spain, France, Ukraine) and south Asia (Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, northern India).
Other aphids on the same host
Ephedraphis ephedrae has been recorded on 15 Ephedra species (Ephedra alai, Ephedra arvense, Ephedra capitata, Ephedra distyachya, Ephedra equisetana, Ephedra fedtschenkoae, Ephedra foliata, Ephedra fragilis, Ephedra gerardiana, Ephedra intermedia, Ephedra lomatolepis, Ephedra major, Ephedra ramosissimum, Ephedra regeliana, Ephedra strobilacea).
Blackman & Eastop list only 1 species of aphid as feeding on Ephedra fragilis worldwide, that being Ephedraphis ephedrae. It has not been recorded from Britain.