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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Myzaphis bucktoni


Myzaphis bucktoni

Brown-lined rose aphid

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

Identification & Distribution:

Adult Myzaphis bucktoni apterae are pale yellow to pale green with a dark brown head and dark brown dorsal markings. The markings consist of two large brown patches on the pronotum and paired brown stripes extending from the mesothorax to the base of the cauda converging between the siphunculi (see first picture below). The median frontal tubercle of Myzaphis bucktoni is rounded, and usually bears four hairs as long as, or longer than, the basal diameter of the third antennal segment. Myzaphis bucktoni is a small species with an adult body length of 1.0-1.9 mm

Myzaphis bucktoni alates (see second picture above) have rather weak abdominal pigmentation which is usually divided intersegmentally in the midline, with large marginal sclerites on abdominal tergites 2-4. The hairs on the front of the head are conspicuous. Antennae of Myzaphis bucktoni alates have 14-32 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment but none on the fourth. The micrographs below show show two adult apterae and an alate in alcohol.

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

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

Myzaphis bucktoni mainly occurs on wild roses such as dog rose (Rosa canina) and harsh downy rose (Rosa tomentosa). Myzaphis bucktoni apterae feed dispersed along the mid-ribs of upper sides of the leaves. Sexual forms occur in November. Males are small, dark, wingless and very active. Oviparae are pale dusky olive green and have strongly swollen hind tibiae. Myzaphis bucktoni occurs throughout Europe, Asia and North America.


Biology & Ecology:

Most aphids form colonies on the undersides of leaves. Myzaphis bucktoni is relatively unusual for an aphid in that it is a solitary species which lives on the upper sides of leaves. In this it resembles the aphid Monaphis antennata, the nymphs of which live scattered on the upper sides of birch leaves. In that species the adults move to the underside, but Myzaphis bucktoni remains on the upperside throughout its life. Both species rely heavily on crypsis to escape natural enemies.

The picture above shows a solitary adult Myzaphis bucktoni sitting on the midrib of a rose leaf. We have only found Myzaphis bucktoni at one site in Britain - on the Dundreggan estate, in Inverness-shire, in Scotland - but it occurs throughout Britain.

One unusual feature of the Myzaphis bucktoni at Dundreggan was the great variability in size of the adult apterae. All the aphids in the picture below are adults, yet even on the same plant they were found to vary in size by a factor of 1.5 times.

This may well result from their solitary lifestyle. Aphids living in a colony create a sink effect when feeding together in a colony, and all individuals will tend to obtain a similar level of nutrients. But solitary aphids will receive a much more variable food supply depending on where they have settled.


Other aphids on same host:

Myzaphis bucktoni has been recorded from 20 Rosa species.


We especially thank Trees for Life for their kind assistance, and permission to sample.

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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