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Hormaphidinae : Nipponaphidini : Reticulaphis rotifera
 

 

Reticulaphis rotifera

Fan-haired scale aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Reticulaphis rotifera (see pictures below) are broadly oval, 1.1-1.4 times longer than wide, black with purplish-blue tinge, and with white marginal wax. The antennae are beneath the head, shorter than the space between them, with 3 indistinct segments, and bearing 2 minute secondary rhinaria. The eyes are submarginal (=near the body margin), with 2 facets. The prosoma (=cephalothorax) is distinctly reticulated with pale thin lines. The dorsum has 3 deep transverse ridges on the median area, and several rounded areas surrounding it. The prosoma has 10 pairs of comparatively thick marginal hairs with fan-shaped apices (see picture below of clarified mount) (cf. Reticulaphis fici and Reticulaphis distylii, whose marginal hairs have distinctly acute apices). The legs are short, the front and middle legs concealed under the body, and the hind legs somewhat exposed. Abdominal tergites are also reticulated. There are no siphunculi. Abdominal tergite VIII is an equilateral triangle, with 4 hairs, the central two longer than outer two. The cauda is knobbed, constricted basally. The anal plate is deeply bilobed, each lobe with 5-7 hairs. Reticulaphis rotifera is a small aphid, the body length of adult apterae is only 0.48-0.55 mm. Immature Reticulaphis rotifera (see colony in second picture below) are yellow-green with a thin white wax margin.

Note: Blackman in Aphids on Worlds Plants comments that the identity of the specimens below needs to be confirmed.

Images above by permission, copyright Sunil Joshi & Poorani, J. Aphids of Karnataka (accessed 12/2/20).

Alatae of Reticulaphis rotifera (not pictured) have the head & thorax sclerotic. Secondary rhinaria are distributed 19-27 on antennal segment III, 4-8 on segment IV, and 4-5 on segment V. The rostrum is very short. Abdominal segments V & VI appear to be merged having 2 pairs of large marginal hairs, whilst tergites I-IV & VII have one pair of such hairs. All larger hairs are fan-shaped. Marginal hairs on tergites IV-VII are on dark scleroites. The cauda is knobbed, and the anal plate is divided into two lobes.

Image above by permission, copyright Sunil Joshi & Poorani, J. Aphids of Karnataka (accessed 12/2/20).

Apterae of Reticulaphis rotifera are found on the undersides of Ficus virgata leaves in Taiwan. What is thought to be the same species has also been recorded from other Ficus spp. in Java and in southern India. The life cycle is unknown. Yeh (2008) noted that in Taiwan the species is found on mature, senescing leaves of hosts, and is adapted to hills or lower mountainous areas. The species is found in Taiwan and Java, and also Karnataka in India.

 

Other aphids on the same host

Reticulaphis rotifera has been recorded on 2 fig species (Ficus religiosa (?), Ficus virgata).

Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to Sunil Joshi & J. Poorani, Aphids of Karnataka for permission to reproduce their images of the live aphids.

We have used the keys and species accounts of Hille Ris Lambers & Takahashi (1959) (as Reticulaphis distyli rotifera), Yeh et al. (2008), & Joshi & Poorani in Aphids of Karnataka, along with information from Roger Blackman & Victor Eastop in Aphids on Worlds Plants. We fully acknowledge these authors and those listed in the reference sections 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

References

  • Hille Ris Lambers, D. & Takahashi, R. (1959). Some species of Thoracaphis and of nearly related genera from Java (Homoptera, Aphididae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 102(1), 1-16 (p. 11) Full text

  • Yeh, H-T et al. (2008). Review of the East-Asian genus Reticulaphis (Aphididae: Hormaphidinae), with two new species. Zootaxa 1782, 34-48. Full text