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Metopeurum fuscoviride

Pink tansy aphid

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

Identification & Distribution:

Metopeurum fuscoviride is a medium-sized pink or greenish aphid with a large black dorsal spot on the abdomen. It has no wax powdering and no marginal sclerites. The antennal tubercles are very weakly developed, so that the front of head is very shallowly concave. The antennae are 0.9-1.1 times the body length, with a terminal process that is 3.3-5.5 times the base of segment VI. The fused apical segment of the rostrum (RIV+V) is 0.7-0.8 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The siphunculi are dark and thin and 1.3-2.0 times the length of the cauda. The cauda is dusky or dark, elongate triangular with a rather narrow apex, less than 1.7 times longer than its basal width. The body length of Metopeurum fuscoviride apterae is 2.2-2.9 mm.

The alate has marginal sclerites on the abdomen, at least on segments I-III, but the abdomen is otherwise unsclerotized. The siphunculi are 1.2-1.8 times the length of the cauda.

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

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

The pink tansy aphid feeds on tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) and there is no host alternation. Large colonies can sometimes develop near the stem bases where they are regularly tended by ants, of which Lasius niger is the most common. Sexual forms develop from August onwards, and the species overwinters in the egg stage. Metopeurum fuscoviride is found throughout most of Europe.

 

Other aphids on the same host:

Metopeurum fuscoviride has been recorded from 5 Tanacetum species (Tanacetum boreale, Tanacetum coccineum, Tanacetum corymbosum, Tanacetum parthenium, Tanacetum vulgare).

Despite the presence of toxins, many species of aphids can be found feeding on Tanacetum vulgare. These are mostly specialists of 'garden tansy', Tanacetum vulgare (or closely related species) - plus a few polyphagous aphid species.

Blackman & Eastop list 23 species of aphid as feeding on Tanacetum vulgare worldwide, and provide formal identification keys.

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 16 as occurring in Britain: Aphis fabae, Aphis gossypii, Aphis spiraecola, Aphis vandergooti, Aulacorthum solani, Brachycaudus cardui, Brachycaudus helichrysi, Coloradoa tanacetina, Macrosiphoniella abrotani, Macrosiphoniella millefolii, Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, Metopeurum fuscoviride, Pleotrichophorus glandulosus, Trama troglodytes, and Uroleucon tanaceti.

Read more about aphids on Tanacetum (tansies)...

Acknowledgements

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

Whilst we make every effort to ensure that identifications are correct, we cannot absolutely warranty their accuracy. We have mostly made 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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