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Bamboo aphidsOn this page: Genus Takecallis Takecallis arundicolens Takecallis taiwana
Takecallis are small delicate narrow-bodied aphids. The head has poorly developed antennal tubercles and the clypeus (a large plate on the underside of the head at the base of the rostrum) has a characteristic forward directed tubercle. The antennae may be shorter or longer than body. The ratio of the terminal process of the last antennal segment to its base is slightly less than or about equal to 1. Usually all viviparae are winged. The siphunculi are short and truncate, without a distinct apical flange. The cauda is knobbed and the anal plate is bilobed.
There are five Takecallis species which do not host alternate but feed on bamboo (Bambuseae). They appear not to have sexual forms, but reproduce all year parthenogenetically. The Takecallis genus is oriental in origin, but several species are now widely distributed.
Takecallis arundicolens (Black-tailed bamboo aphid)
Adult viviparae of Takecallis arundicolens are all winged. The abdomen of the alate Takecallis arundicolens is pale yellow or greyish yellow, without any dark dorsal abdominal markings (see first picture below). There is a sparse covering of bluish white wax, especially over the antennae and the anterior of the aphid. Antennal segment III is pale near the base, but with a dark portion distally around the rhinaria. The cauda is conspicuously black (clearly visible at the rear of the aphid's abdomen).
Immature Takecallis arundicolens (see second picture above) may be pale or dark yellow in colour, and do not have a black cauda. They have long capitate hairs. At this stage they are difficult to distinguish from other Takecallis species.
The black-tailed bamboo aphid feeds on bamboo (Arundinaria, Bambusa, Phyllostachys and Sasa spp.) as well as (rarely) common reed (Phragmites australis). Takecallis arundicolens is an invasive species originally found in China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, but now also present in Europe and North America.
Takecallis arundinariae (Black-spotted bamboo aphid)
Adult viviparae of Takecallis arundinariae are all winged. Alates are whitish, pale yellow or greyish-yellow and may be lightly coated with bluish-white wax especially on the head and antennae (see first picture below). The third antennal segment is dusky to dark except at the very base, and has the most proximal secondary rhinarium situated close to its base. The thorax has variably developed longitudinal dark stripes, and the abdomen has a pair of figure-8 shaped black spots on each tergite. Takecallis arundinariae siphunculi are short and pale and the cauda is pale or dusky. The body length is 1.7-2.4 mm.
Immature Takecallis arundinariae (see second picture above) are yellowish and have no dark markings except on the antennae and tarsi.
The black-spotted bamboo aphid is found on the underside of mature leaves of bamboos, mainly Arundinaria and Phyllostachys species. Sexual forms have been found in Korea, but reproduction is entirely parthenogenetic over much of the world. Takecallis arundinariae originates from the Far East (India, China, Japan etc), but has been introduced to many other parts of the world including much of Europe, Australia and North and South America.
Takecallis taiwana (Bamboo-shoot aphid)
All viviparous adult Takecallis taiwana are alate. The alatae are pale green without wax, with a longitudinal dusky stripe on the middle of the head (see first picture below). The antennae are as long as, or shorter than, the body (cf. Takecallis arundinariae & Takecallis arundicolens which have antennae longer than the body), and are dark brown but with the basal part of segments III-VI pale. The thorax is light brownish-green, and the wings have slightly dusky bordered veins. There are no markings on the abdominal tergites, but abdominal tergites I and II bear conspicuous spinal tubercles (see second picture below). The siphunculi are pale and short with a dusky apex, and the cauda is pale and knobbed. The adult body length of Takecallis taiwana is 1.4-2.3 mm.
Immature Takecallis taiwana (see second and third pictures above) are distinctive being yellow-green to green with rows of dark spines on the dorsum.
The bamboo shoot aphid feeds on bamboos, usually Arundinaria and Phyllostachys species, or sometimes Bambusa or Sasa. Colonies can be found in the young, still unrolled leaves and on the younger leaves. Larger, more mature, colonies live on the undersides of the leaf bases. Sexual forms have been recorded in China, but where introduced it is thought to be anholocyclic, reproducing parthenogenetically throughout the year. Takecallis taiwana is native to China, Taiwan and Japan but has been introduced to Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, USA and South America.