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Aphididae : Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Tubaphis


Genus Tubaphis

Buttercup aphids

On this page: Tubaphis ranunculina

Tubaphis [Macrosiphini]

Tubaphis are small pale spindle-shaped aphids. The apterae have fairly well developed, widely separated antennal tubercles, with steep sided inner faces. The antennae are as long as the body or longer, with an unusually thin basal part to the last segment. The hairs on the dorsal body and antennae are very short and blunt, and the dorsal cuticle is markedly wrinkled. The siphunculi are cylindrical, thin but with a broader base and with a constriction below the apical flange. The cauda is short, tongue shaped, has a distinctive constriction at the base and bears 4 hairs. The alates do not have a dark abdominal patch, but do have numerous secondary rhinaria on the third abdominal segment, as well as a few on other antennal segments.

There are only 2 Tubaphis species worldwide: Tubaphis clematophila and Tubaphis ranunculina. Tubaphis live without host alternation on buttercups and/or clematis (Ranunculaceae).


Tubaphis ranunculina (Yellow buttercup aphid) Europe, Asia

Adult apterae of Tubaphis ranunculina are deep yellow with pale appendages. The antennae are about as long as the body, with a terminal process 1.9-2.5 times the length of the base of the sixth antennal segment. The apical segment of the rostrum is 1.0-1.1 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment. The siphunculi are rough and thin, but broadening at the base and with a large flange. The cauda is blunt, tipped with white hairs, constricted at the base and with the apical half narrower than the basal half.

Alates of Tubaphis ranunculina (see second picture above) have a yellow or yellowish-green abdomen with narrow transverse cross bands and rather ill-defined marginal sclerite. The siphunculi and cauda of the alate are pale to dusky.

Tubaphis ranunculina does not host alternate but remains all year round on the underside of leaves of buttercups (Ranunculus species). Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens), meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris) and Ranunculus velutinus are utilized in Europe, Ranunculus subcorymbosum in the Far East of Russia, and Ranunculus japonicus in Japan. Oviparae and alate males develop in autumn. They are not attended by ants. Tubaphis ranunculina has a wide distribution throughout Europe and much of Asia to Japan.



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


  • Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.