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Aphididae : Calaphidinae : Panaphidini : Mesocallis
 

 

Genus Mesocallis

Mesocallis aphids

On this page: Mesocallis pteleae

Mesocallis [Panaphidini]

Mesocallis are pale yellow, slender-bodied aphids with both alate and apterous morphs known in some species. In the alate the epicranial suture is sometimes weakly indicated. The antennae are much shorter than the body, with the terminal process 0.8-1.2 times as long as the base of that segment. Secondary rhinaria are oval to narrow elliptical, with one row along the whole surface of segment III. The rostrum reaches far beyond the first coxae and the apical rostral segment has 2-16 accessory hairs. The compound eye of the apterous morph is often smaller and with fewer facets than in the alate morph. The lobes of the mesonotum are smooth, the abdomen is without spinal processes, and paramedian hairs are mostly on wart-like elevations. In both apterae & alatae the dorsal body hairs have round knobs at the apex. The empodial hairs are flabellate and distinctly longer than the claws. The fore tibiae are often darkened. The siphunculi are pale and truncated without a flange, the cauda is knobbed and the anal plate is bilobed.

Mesocallis aphids mostly feed on trees in the birch family (Betulaceae) including birch (Betula), hornbeam (Carpinus), alder (Alnus) and hazel (Corylus). Eleven species have been described, although some are little known. For example Mesocallis fagicola has been variously reported to feed on Fagus silvatica (Matsumura, 1919) Fagus crenata (Higuchi, 1972), or Betulaceae (Chen et al., 2020), but appears not to have been found since it was first described from Japan in 1919. Mesocallis species are restricted to east Asia.

 

Mesocallis pteleae (Hippopotamus aphid)

All adult Mesocallis pteleae viviparae are alate. Adult alatae have most of the head, thorax and abdomen pale yellow-green, but the anterior of the head is black (cf. Mesocallis alnicola & Mesocallis sawashibae, which have the anterior of the head pale). Antennal segments I-III are black with the rest of the flagellum having dark bands. The terminal process is 0.9–1.2 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Mesocallis taoi, which has the terminal process 0.6–0.8 times as long as the base of that segment). The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.2–1.4 times as long as second hind tarsal segment (HT II) (cf. Mesocallis taoi, which has RIV+V 0.7–0.9 times as long as HT II). The forewing vein Cu1b, is broadly dark bordered (cf. Mesocallis sawashibae, which does not have Cu1b dark bordered). Abdominal tergites I–IV each bear one pair of marginal hairs (cf. Mesocallis corylicola & Mesocallis yunnanensis, which have two or more pairs of marginal hairs on each of those tergites). The fore tibiae and distal 0.1 of the fore femora are black, as well as the distal margin of the hind femora. The tarsi are brown. The siphunculi and cauda are pale. The siphunculi are cylindrical and truncated, and the cauda is knobbed. The body length of the alate Mesocallis pteleae is 1.2-1.6 mm.

Image above by permission, copyright Akihide Koguchi, all rights reserved.

The host of Mesocallis pteleae was given originally as Ptelea trifoliata, but this has turned out to be incorrect. It is now known to feed on species of alder (Alnus), hazel (Corylus), hop-hornbeams (Ostrya) and hornbeams (Carpinus). However some of these records could refer to other closely related aphid species (e.g. Mesocallis carpinicola on Carpinus). The aphids are found scattered on the underside of leaves of host plants. Mesocallis pteleae is currently known from Japan, Korea and China.

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Acknowledgements

We have used the keys and species accounts of Matsumura (1919), Quednau (2003) and Chen et al. (2020) 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

  • Chen, J. et al. (2020). Review of Mesocallis Matsumura from China (Hemiptera, Aphididae), with one new species. ZooKeys 1003, 19–30. Full text

  • Higuchi, H. (1972). A taxonomic study of the subfamily Callipterinae in Japan (Homoptera : Aphididae).

  • Matsumura, S. (1919). New species and genera of Callipterinae (Aphididae) of Japan. Transactions of the Sapporo Natural History Society 7(2), 100-115. Full text

  • Quednau, F.W. (2003). Atlas of the Drepanosiphine Aphids of the World. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 72, 51.