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Meadow-sweet aphidOn this page: Identification & Distribution Biology & Ecology Other aphids on the same host
Identification & Distribution:
Macrosiphum cholodkovskyi apterae are yellow-green to dark blue-green (see first picture below of a green adult) or coral-pink to red (see second picture below of a pink immature), often with a darker longitudinal mid-dorsal band. The antennae are rather dark except at the bases, and are longer than the body. The femora and tibiae are dark distally. The siphunculi are mainly dusky, with a dark tip and a pale base, and are 1.7-2.2 times the length of the rather thick and blunt cauda. The body length of adult Macrosiphum cholodkovskyi apterae is 3.1-5.1 mm.
The meadowsweet aphid does not host alternate but spends its entire life cycle on meadow sweet (Filipendula ulmaria), and occasionally on valerians (Valeriana alliariifolia). Macrosiphum cholodkovskyi lives on the stem and among the flowers. It is found throughout Europe and parts of Asia.
Biology & Ecology
The meadowsweet aphid is a rather common aphid in southern England. It can usually found in late late spring and early summer wherever its host plant, meadow sweet, is growing.
The host plant, Filipendula ulmaria (see picture below) is quite distinctive with large pinnate leaves and delicate creamy white flowers clustered in irregularly branched cymes.
Eggs laid the previous autumn hatch in spring, and the resultant fundatrices produce numerous offspring on the young plants. Some plants may host large colonies of Macrosiphum cholodkovskyi, initially on the growing shoots, leaves and stem (see picture below), and later in amongst the flower heads. Colonies attract large numbers of predators, and a larval coccinellid can be seen resting on a leaf in the picture below.
Alatae (see picture below) are produced in June and July, probably in response to crowding.
One of the more notable things about Macrosiphum cholodkovskyi is its size. The adult aptera (see picture below) is one of the larger aphids amongst the Macrosiphini with a body length of 3.1-5.1 mm.
Sexual forms develop in autumn. The oviparae are pink or greenish yellow and the alate males are dirty reddish or brownish green.
Other aphids on same host: