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Myzus certus

Pinks aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Myzus certus are pink to dark reddish brown (cf. Myzus dianthicola apterae which are deep yellow-green). The antennal terminal process of Myzus certus is 2.1-3.7 (usually less than 3.25) times longer than the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Myzus dianthicola which has the antennal terminal process 2.5-4.0 (usually more than 3.25) times longer than the base of antennal segment VI). The fused apical rostral segment (RIV+V) of Myzus certus is 0.87-1.28 (usually more than 0.9) times longer than the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) (cf. Myzus dianthicola which has RIV+V 0.78-0.98 (usually less than 0.9) times longer than HTII). The siphunculi are slightly swollen distally, dusky with darker apices, and 1.7-2.5 times longer than the near triangular cauda.

The alate Myzus certus has a black patch on the mid-dorsum, with black bands anterior and posterior to the patch. It has 8-20 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and 0-4 on antennal segment IV.

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

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

The pinks aphid does not host alternate, but feeds on pinks, carnations (Dianthus), sweet william and other Caryophyllaceae, and on some violets (Viola tricolor). Oviparae and apterous males are produced in the autumn with eggs laid on the host plant, but there are also anholocyclic populations. The aphid can cause curling and spotting of leaves, but is not usually regarded as a significant pest. Myzus certus occurs throughout Europe, and in Iran and North America.

 

Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list 26 species of aphid as feeding on pinks (Dianthus ) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys.

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 20 as occurring in Britain: Aphis craccivora, Aphis fabae, Aphis gossypii, Aphis nasturtii, Aphis sambuci, Aphis spiraecola, Aulacorthum solani, Brachycaudus helichrysi, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, Macrosiphum stellariae, Myzus ascalonicus, Myzus certus, Myzus cymbalariae, Myzus dianthicola, Myzus ornatus, Myzus persicae, Neomyzus circumflexus, Rhopalosiphoninus staphyleae, Rhopalosiphum rufiabdominale, and Smynthurodes betae.

Acknowledgements

We especially thank Robin & Rosie Lloyd, The Long House Garden, for their kind assistance and permission to sample. We also thank Dr Roger Blackman for generously allowing us to use his images of clarified mounts.

We have made provisional 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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