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Calaphidinae : Panaphidini : Mesocallis pteleae


Mesocallis pteleae

Hippopotamus aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

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 has Cu1b only slightly dark bordered). Abdominal tergites I-IV each bear one pair of marginal setae (cf. Mesocallis corylicola & Mesocallis yunnanensis, which have two or more pairs of marginal setae 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.

Note: There is a very similar species to Mesocallis pteleae, namely Mesocallis carpinicola, found by Lee et al. (2018) on Carpinus in South Korea. The two species are differentiated by the absolute lengths of the terminal process and apical rostral segment. Mesocallis pteleae has a terminal process that is 0.08-0.10 mm long, and an apical rostral segment that is 0.11-0.14 mm long (cf. Mesocallis carpinicola, which has a terminal process 0.06-0.08 mm long, and an apical rostral segment that is 0.10-0.11 mm long).

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

The host of Mesocallis pteleae was given originally as Ptelea trifoliata (see Matsumura, 1919), 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.


Other aphids on the same host

Mesocallis pteleae has been recorded from 2 Alder species (Alnus cremastogyne, Alnus matsumurae).

Mesocallis pteleae has been recorded from 2 Hazel species (Corylus heterophylla, Corylus sieboldiana + Corylus sieboldiana var. mandshurica).

Mesocallis pteleae has been recorded from 1 Hop-hornbeam species (Ostrya japonica).

Mesocallis pteleae has also been been recorded from 1 Hornbeam species (Carpinus cordata); and possibly from Ptelea trifoliata.


We are especially grateful to Akihide Koguchi for allowing us to reproduce the image of Mesocallis pteleae from his blog page.

Identification of the specimens in Japan was carried out by Daisuke (@ enyomorihio). We have used the keys and species accounts of Higuchi (1972) and Chen et al. (2020) along with Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006) 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).

Useful weblinks


  • 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). Insecta Matsumurana 35, 19-126. Full text

  • 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