InfluentialPoints.com
Biology, images, analysis, design...
Aphids Find them How to ID AphidBlog
"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important" (Sherlock Holmes)

Search this site

 

 

Sipha elegans

Bristly olive grass aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Sipha elegans are usually brown to yellowish brown (see first picture below) or in cooler conditions olive green (see second picture below), with rows of spiny hairs. There is a paler spinal stripe (more apparent on immatures), and dark transverse intersegmental markings (cf Sipha flava, which are usually bright yellow with only dusky intersegmental markings). The antennae are quite short, only 0.37-0.39 times the body length, with their terminal process 1.70-2.10 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Sipha flava which has somehat longer antennae at 0.45-0.54 times the body length). The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.50-0.62 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The siphunculi are small shallow pigmented cones. The cauda is broadly rounded (cf. Sipha flava, which has a cauda which has a conical base and a rounded, knobbed apex). The body length of adult Sipha elegans apterae is 1.4-2.1 mm. Immatures (see second picture below) are yellow-green speckled with rows with dusky spots.

Both images above by permission, copyright Jessica Joachim, all rights reserved.

The alate Sipha elegans (see second and third pictures below) has a black head and thorax, and a brownish yellow abdomen with dark sclerites.

Both images above copyright CBG Photography Group under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

Micrograph of clarified mount by permission Karina Wieczorek, all rights reserved.

Sipha elegans feeds on a wide range of grasses and cereals including (for example) Ammophila, Festuca and Triticum. On grass it produces characteristic feeding damage - the leaf blades roll upwards and yellow-brown patches develop (see pictures below). They are usually attended by ants (see second picture below). Sipha elegans is widely distributed over the world. It is native to the Palearctic from Europe, across Asia to China and Western Siberia. It is also well-established in the northern parts of the USA.

Both images above by permission, copyright Jessica Joachim, all rights reserved.

 

Other aphids on the same host

Sipha elegans has been recorded on many genera of grasses (Poaceae) including Agropyron, Agrostis, Ammophila, Arrhenatherum, Bromus, Elymus, Festuca, Hordeum, Phleum and Triticum.

  • Sipha elegans has been recorded on one species of the Ammophila genus (Ammophila arenaria).

    Blackman & Eastop list 17 species of aphid as feeding on marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 14 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

  • Sipha elegans has been recorded on six species of the Festuca genus (Festuca arundinacea, Festuca gigantea, Festuca ovina, Festuca pratensis, Festuca rubra and Festuca rupicola).

    Blackman & Eastop list 33 species of aphid as feeding on red fescue (Festuca rubra) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 29 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

  • Sipha elegans has been recorded on 5 species of the Triticum genus (Triticum aestivum, Triticum boeoticum, Triticum durum, Triticum monococcum, Triticum turanicum).

    Blackman & Eastop list 60 species of aphid as feeding on 'common wheat' (Triticum aestivum) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 30 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

Acknowledgements

We are extremely grateful to Jessica Joachim for the excellent pictures of live Sipha elegans displayed on this page.

We especially thank Karina Wieczorek (University of Silesia, Poland) for the image of a clarified mount.

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). On this page we have also used information from Wieczorek (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).

Useful weblinks

References

  • Wieczorek, K. (2010). A monograph of Siphini Mordvilko, 1928 (Hemiptera, Aphidoidea: Chaitophorinae). University of Silesia in Katowice. 40 (1), 75-83. Full text