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

 

 

Identification & Distribution

All adult viviparae of Takecallis arundicolens are alate. Their immatures (see first picture below) may be pale or dark yellow in colour, and have long capitate hairs and a pale cauda. The adult alate Takecallis arundicolens is pale yellow or greyish yellow, usually without any dark dorsal abdominal markings (see second picture below) - but note, in the spring form, there may be a double row of dark spots around the spinal setae. There is a sparse covering of bluish white wax, especially over the antennae and the anterior of the aphid. The antennae are longer than the body. Antennal segment III of the alate has a pale base, adjacent to a dark portion which bears 5-7 rhinaria; the remainder of the antennal flagellum is usually variegated (but see colour variant in morphology section below). The cauda (clearly visible at the rear of the aphid's abdomen) is usually conspicuously black (but again see colour variant below). The body length of the adult alate is 1.8-2.8 mm.

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.

 

Morphology

A colour variant - or a different species?

In July 2020 we had a report of some unusual Takecallis specimens (see picture below) on bamboo from Alan Orange in Wales.

Unlike the two common Takecallis species species found in Europe, the Welsh alatae had neither dark markings on the abdominal dorsum (characteristic of Takecallis arundinariae) nor the black cauda and variegated antennae (characteristic of Takecallis arundicolens). Using the key by Qiao & Zhang (2004), Alan suggested the Welsh Takecallis might be Takecallis takahashii, albeit the species is not mentioned by most recent literature on this genus. Diagnostic characters for Takecallis takahashii include the siphunculi having a hair at the base (see picture below), a pale or dusky cauda, and no stripes on the thoracic dorsum - all of which was true for the Welsh aphids.

Image above copyright Alan Orange, all rights reserved.

However, Takecallis takahashii is no longer accepted as a "good species" following the treatise of Quednau (2003) who synonomized it with Takecallis arundinariae. We detail below the characteristics of the aphids from Wales which eventually led us to conclude that this was instead an unusual variety (clone?) of Takecallis arundicolens. We used the keys and descriptions of Quednau (2003), Lee & Lee (2018) and Blackman & Eastop (2020), with supplementary information from Qiao & Zhang (2004). Comparisons are made with other species of the Takecallis genus for each character.

  • The colour in life of the Welsh alatae (see pictures above) was pale yellow to bright yellow with a sparse covering of bluish white wax, especially over the antennae (cf. Takecallis affinis, which has a blackish abdomen covered in wax). Antennae of the Welsh aphids were longer than the body (cf. Takecallis taiwana and Takecallis sasae, which both have antennae shorter than the body).

Images above copyright Alan Orange, all rights reserved.

  • The Welsh Takecallis alate (see picture above) has 5 elliptical secondary rhinaria in a row on the proximal third of antennal segment III (cf. Takecallis arundinariae, which has a row of 5-10 elliptical secondary rhinaria on the proximal quarter of that segment; and cf. Takecallis alba, which has 47 elliptical secondary rhinaria densely concentrated on the very short dark section of the proximal third of that segment). The Welsh Takecallis alate has a pale thoracic dorsum without any stripes, and pale abdominal tergites without any black spots (cf. Takecallis arundinariae, which always has a double row of elongate, rectangular, dark spinal sclerites on the abdomen and cf. Takecallis assumenta, which has paired dark circular spots around the spinal hairs on abdominal tergites I-VII). The Welsh Takecallis siphunculi each have a hair at the base (cf. Takecallis taiwana and Takecallis sasae, neither of which have hairs on the siphunculi).

The characters above all point to these Welsh aphids being Takecallis arundicolens, albeit two characters are atypical of this species:

Firstly the Welsh Takecallis antennae are black except for the very base of segment III, whilst Takecallis arundicolens usually has variegated antennae. But Quednau (2003) points out that antennae of Takecallis arundicolens spring-form of are often all black except for the base of segment III.

Secondly the Welsh Takecallis cauda is pale, whereas Takecallis arundicolens usually has a black cauda. Both Quednau (2003) & Blackman & Eastop (2020) state that, although the Takecallis arundicolens cauda is mostly black, it is rarely pale. Blackman & Eastop note that "an unpigmented population [of Takecallis arundicolens] with a pale cauda occurred at Wisley, UK in 1967".

We conclude that the Welsh population is a variant clone of Takecallis arundicolens.

Investigating the status of the name Takecallis takahashii proved problematical. The 'species' was originally described and named by Hsu (1980), and then redescribed by Tao (1990), neither of which publications are accessible. Takecallis takahashii was subsequently synonomized with Takecallis arundinariae by Quednau (2003). One might expect that it would have been synonomized with Takecallis arundicolens given that the specimens from Wales turned out to be this species. But the Qiao & Zhang (2004) key only uses the character "double row of elongate, dark spinal sclerites on the abdomen" late in their key, after Takecallis takahashii has already been identified on the basis of other characters - all of which the Welsh specimens possessed. Presumably Hsu's Takecallis takahashii specimens did have the characteristic double row of elongate, dark spinal sclerites on the abdomen, albeit lacking the dark thoracic stripes.

 

Biology & Ecology

Life cycle

Takecallis arundicolens is generally considered to be anholocyclic throughout its range, although Leclant (1966) (in Blackman & Eastop (1984)) reported oviparae in southern France. We have not found any evidence of sexual reproduction in southern England, but we have found adult parthenogenetic alatae reproducing throughout winter in local woodland (see picture below of an alate with offspring in January in southern England).

The black cauda is not very clear in the alate above, but is much more so in the image below.

By June large numbers of aphids can be found on the bamboo leaves.

Qiao & Zhang (2004) reviewed the Takecallis species occurring in China, including Takecallis arundicolens. Host plants recorded for the latter species include Phyllostachys species, Sasa nipponica, Sasa palmate and Sasa senaanensis.

There are very few reports of natural enemies of Takecallis arundicolens in the literature. Rakhshani et al. (2017) has reported a new parasitoid species, Trioxys remaudierei, attacking Takecallis aphids outside their area of origin.

 

Other aphids on same host:

Acknowledgements

We especially thank Alan Orange for sending us samples of his Welsh Takecallis, and for permission to reproduce several of the images shown above. We are also indebted to Roger Blackman for advice on identification, and help in accessing the Quednau (2003) key.

Whilst we make every effort to ensure that identifications are correct, we cannot absolutely warranty their accuracy. We have mostly made 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).

Useful weblinks

References

  • Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2020). Aphids on the world's crops.

  • Hsu, T. S. (1980). Contribution to the study of Aphididae of Taiwan. Graduate Institute of Plant Pathology and Entomology, National Taiwan University. Doctoral Thesis, pp. 1-282.

  • Lee & Lee (2018). A review of the genus Takecallis Mastumura in Korea with the description of a new species (Hemiptera, Aphididae). ZooKeys 748, 131149. Full text

  • Qiao, G.-X. & Zhang, G.-X. (2004). Review of the genus Takecallis Matsumura (Homoptera: Aphididae: Myzocallidinae) from China and description of one new species. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 52(2), 373-378. Full text

  • Quednau, F.W. (2003). Atlas of the Drepanosiphine Aphids of the World. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 72, 51.

  • Rakhshani, E. et al. (2017). A new parasitoid (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) of the invasive bamboo aphids Takecallis spp. (Hemiptera: Aphididae) from Western Europe. Journal of Natural History 51 (21-22), 1237-1248. Abstract

  • Tao, C. C., 1990. Aphid-fauna of Taiwan Province, China. Taiwan Provincial Museum. Pp. 1-327.