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Jacksonia papillata

Olive-brown grass aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Jacksonia papillata are plump oval, little pigmented but appearing brownish- or greenish-ochreous, and lightly dusted with wax on the underside and legs - and sometimes intersegmentally on the first two or three abdominal segments. The entire body cuticle is strongly rugose with large frontal tubercles and scabrous spinules on the head. The antennae are about 0.7 times the body length, with the terminal process 1.7-2.1 times the length of the base of segment VI. The apical segment of the rostrum (RIV+V) is about 1.2 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment. The siphunculi of Jacksonia papillata are brown and scaly, swollen at the base and thinnest in the middle, with the rather small, slightly oblique aperture turned inwards; they are 1.5-1.8 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is short and tongue-shaped with 4-6 hairs. The adult aptera body length is 1.5-1.9 mm.

The alate of Jacksonia papillata has a dark green abdomen with dark marginal, intersegmental and pleural sclerites, cross bars on tergites I, II, VII and VIII, and a central patch on tergites III-VI.

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Jacksonia papillata: wingless, and winged.

Micrographs of clarified mounts by permission of Roger Blackman, copyright AWP all rights reserved.

The olive-brown grass aphid lives on grasses, for example meadow grass (Poa pratensis), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), wavy hair grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and red fescue (Festuca rubra). They usually feed concealed on the colourless basal parts of the stems close to the soil, their colour matching the withered brown leaves. They have also been found on the basal parts of some other plants such as potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and speedwells (Veronica). They are not, or only exceptionally, visited by ants. Oviparae of this species are unknown, but males of genus Jacksonia have been trapped in Britain. Nevertheless most of the population is thought to overwinter as parthenogenetically reproducing viviparae.

 

Other aphids on the same host

  • Jacksonia papillata has been recorded on two species of the Poa genus (Poa nemoralis, Poa pratensis).

    Blackman & Eastop list 34 species of aphid as feeding on Kentucky bluegrass, smooth meadow-grass, or common meadow-grass (Poa pratensis) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 23 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

  • Jacksonia papillata has been recorded on one species of the Dactylis genus (Dactylis glomerata).

    Blackman & Eastop list 45 species of aphid as feeding on cocksfoot grass (Dactylis glomerata) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 34 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

  • Jacksonia papillata has been recorded on only one species of the Deschampsia genus (Deschampsia flexuosa).

    Blackman & Eastop list 21 species of aphid as feeding on wavy hair grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 17 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

  • Jacksonia papillata has been recorded on two species of the Festuca genus (Festuca ovina, Festuca rubra).

    Blackman & Eastop list 33 species of aphid as feeding on red fescue (Festuca rubra) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 29 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

Acknowledgements

Our particular thanks to Roger Blackman for images of his clarified slide mounts.

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 species 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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