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Aphididae : Aphidinae : Gypsoaphis
 

 

Genus Gypsoaphis

Woolly honeysuckle aphids

On this page: Gypsoaphis oestlundi

Gypsoaphis [Macrosiphini]

Gypsoaphis are medium-sized wax-covered aphids found in North America. The antennal tubercles are weakly developed, and the front of the head is slightly convex. The antennal terminal process is elongate, without numerous setae. The primary rhinaria are not fused and have ciliate margins; the secondary rhinaria are circular, and are present on antennal segments III and IV of alatae, and sometimes on segment III of apterae. The rostrum is 4-segmented, with the apical segment conical and bluntly pointed. The prothorax has conspicuous marginal tubercles. On the forewing the media vein has 3 branches, and the branches of the cubitus are separated at the base and divergent. The abdomen of the apterae is without pigmented areas dorsally; in some specimens alatae have faint lateral sclerites. Large marginal tubercles are present on abdominal segments II-VI. The siphunculi are reduced to pores. The cauda is semicircular to tongue-shaped, and the anal plate is entire.

The Gypsoaphis genus is related to the Palaearctic genera Hyadaphis and Semiaphis. It differs from these by having poriform siphunculi, a rounded cauda and a full set of marginal abdominal tubercles.

The only Gypsoaphis species, Gypsoaphis oestlundi, feeds on honeysuckle (Lonicera).

 

Gypsoaphis oestlundi (Woolly honeysuckle aphid)

Adult apterae of Gypsoaphis oestlundi are green and quite thickly covered with white wax (see first picture below). Antennal segments I-V are very pale, but segment VI is darker. The legs are also mainly pale. There are no dark markings on the dorsal abdomen, but it does have a full set of marginal tubercles. The siphunculi are as pores with partly sclerotized rims. The cauda is semicircular, much shorter than its basal width in dorsal view. The body length of adult Gypsoaphis oestlundi apterae is 1.5-3.3 mm. Immatures are coloured as the adults and covered with white wax.

First image above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.
Second image above copyright CBG Photography Group under a Creative Commons License.

Alatae (see second picture above of preserved specimen) are also green in life. They have secondary secondary rhinaria on antennal segments III and IV.

The woolly honeysuckle aphid feeds on terminal young shoots and leaves of a few species of honeysuckle (Lonicera). Feeding by the aphid causes the leaves to curl. The life cycle of the species is unknown. Hottes & Frison (1931) recorded Gypsoaphis oestlundi feeding on Lonicera from several locations in Illinois state, USA in the months of May and June. The species is found throughout much of North America.

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Acknowledgements

We have used the keys and species accounts of Hottes & Frison (1931), and Foottit & Richards (1993) together 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).

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References

  • Foottit, R.G. & Richards, W.R. (1993). The Insects and Arachnids of Canada. Part 22. The Genera of the Aphids of Canada (Homoptera: Aphidoidea and Phylloxeroidea). Research Branch, Agriculture Canada. Publication 1885. 766 pp. Full text

  • Hottes, F.C. & Frison, T.H. (1931). The Plant Lice, or Aphiidae, of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 19(3), 123-447. Full text