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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Ovatomyzus chamaedrys


Ovatomyzus chamaedrys

Woodsage leaf aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Ovatomyzus chamaedrys (see two pictures below) are pinkish green, whitish green or yellowish white, darker at colder temperatures. Their antennae are 1.1-1.6 times the body length, with the terminal process 5.6-7.7 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Ovatomyzus boraginacearum, which has the terminal process 4.5-6.0 times the base of that segment). The longest hair on segment III is 0.1-0.2 times the length of the basal diameter of that segment. The antennal tubercles are distinctly developed. The apical segment of the rostrum (RIV+V) is 1.2-1.5 times the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The siphunculi are pale and slightly swollen on the distal half with a distinct flange (cf. Ovatomyzus stachyos, which has the siphunculi tapering or cylindrical and almost flangeless). The siphunculi are 2.2-3.1 times the caudal length. The cauda is tongue-shaped, with a distinctly constricted base and 5(-7) hairs. The body length of adult Ovatomyzus chamaedrys apterae is 0.8-1.5 mm.

Images above by permission, first copyright Dirk Baert, second copyright Jochem Kuhnen.

Alatae of Ovatomyzus chamaedrys (not pictured) have a black dorsal abdominal patch, and antennae that are 1.1-1.4 times the length of the body. They bear 31-36 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 11-15 on segment IV, and 0-4 on segment V. The siphunculi of alatae are about 2.4 times the length of the cauda. Immatures (see picture below) are similarly coloured to the adult apterae.

Image above by permission, copyright Dirk Baert.

Ovatomyzus chamaedrys lives on the undersides of leaves of certain members of the Lamiaceae, especially wild basil (Clinopodium vulgare) and several species of germander (Teucrium spp.) as well as on small scabious (Scabiosa columbaria) and purple gromwell (Lithodora diffusa = Glandora diffusa). There are records from several other Lamiaceae (Ajuga genevensis x pyramidalis, Calamintha sp., Marsypianthes chamaedrys, Mentha spp. Stachys heraclea) and, less certainly, two Boraginaceae species. Ovatomyzus chamaedrys populations are entirely anholocyclic. The woodsage leaf aphid has been recorded from much of Europe, including Britain, and also from Kazakhstan.


Other aphids on the same host

Ovatomyzus chamaedrys has been recorded from 2 species of basils & calamints (Clinopodium acinos, Clinopodium vulgare).

Ovatomyzus chamaedrys has been recorded from 3 species of germanders (Teucrium chamaedrys, Teucrium divaricatum, Teucrium scorodonia).


Our particular thanks to Dirk Baert, in Belgium, and Jochem Kuhnen, in The Netherlands, for pictures of the live aphids.

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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