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Aphidomorpha : Aphididae : Anoeciinae
 

 

Subfamily Anoeciinae

Biology and Morphology

On this page: Biology Morphology Genera

Biology

The Anoeciinae are a small but distinctive and widespread subfamily with about 24 species in one genus (Anoecia). Some species host alternate from Cornus to the roots of Poaceae (except Anoecia oenotherae which goes to Onagraceae). Other species have lost the primary host and live year round on the roots of Poaceae or Cyperaceae (except Anoecia equiseti which lives on Equisetum laevigatum roots). Anoeciinae are fairly mobile when disturbed. Alate sexuparae, distinguished by their dark abdominal patch and the large black pterostigma spot on the forewing, are a common sight on dogwood (Cornus) leaves in the autumn (see picture below). They deposit clusters of small, yellow and/or brown sexual morphs. The oviparae lay their eggs on the bark of the trunk. They have a holarctic distribution with the different species utilising the native Cornus in North America, Europe and eastern Asia.

Anoecia corni autumn migrant alate & nymphs.

 

Morphology

Adult Anoeciinae viviparae may be apterous or alate. The adult apterae of most Anoeciinae species on grass roots (see picture) are medium-sized greenish grey or grey in colour, often with a black sclerotic dorsal abdominal plate. Immatures are paler, white or cream in colour. Apterae have the head & pronotum fused dorsally, but free laterally. Their antennae are rather short, but usually 6-segmented (5-segmented in fundatrices and sexuales), with a short terminal process about 0.1-0.5 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Aphidinae, which rarely have the terminal process very short). The secondary rhinaria on apterae are fewer and smaller than on alatae but still well-distributed. The eyes are large with ocular tubercles. The apterae generally have compound eyes, except for Anoecia pskovica which has only triommatidia, even when adult. The fundatrices and immature stages of all morphs have triommatidia but no compound eyes. The rostrum reaches the hind coxae, and the apical rostral segment always has accessory setae.

Anoecia corni adult aptera & nymphs.

The abdominal dorsum is commonly entirely dark sclerotic (as in Anoecia corni, (see picture), or only dark sclerotic on tergites V-VI or, in subgenus Paranoecia, pale. There are round, flat marginal tubercles on the prothorax and most of abdominal segments I-VII. Hairs on the body and appendages are numerous, mostly with finely pointed apices, but hairs with spatulate apices are often present on some of the dorsal abdominal tergites. The legs have many long hairs, with the first tarsal segments each having 5-7 hairs. The siphunculi are round or pore-like, on low hair-bearing cones. The cauda is broadly semi-lunar, with many fine and short or long hairs.

Anoecia corni alate. Image copyright Nigel Gilligan, all rights reserved.

Anoeciinae alatae have oval, protuberant secondary rhinaria distributed over all the antennal segments. The forewings of alatae (see second picture above) have a characteristic large, but truncated and dark, pterostigma. The media is once branched, and the hind wings have two oblique veins.

Anoeciinae Genera

Genus Anoecia [Anoeciinae]

Medium-sized aphids which may be winged or wingless. Wingless adults (shown here) are greenish-gray or gray with a dark sclerotic dorsal abdominal plate. The winged form (see species overview) has a characteristic dark posteriodorsal abdominal patch, a white patch and a large black pterostigmal spot on the forewing. Young nymphs are white or cream in colour.

About 24 species in North America, Europe and eastern Asia. Some host alternate from dogwood (Cornaceae) to roots of grasses (Poaceae), with the oviparae laying their eggs on the bark of the trunk. Other species live year round on the roots of grasses (Poaceae) or sedges (Cyperaceae).

Species Overview

 

Acknowledgements

We particularly thank Colin Favret and Roger Blackman, who have provided invaluable assistance. Most of the subfamily diagnoses have been taken from Heie & Wegierek (2009b), Quednau (1999, 2003, 2010) and Blackman & Eastop (2021), with additional material from Russell (1982),Stroyan (1977), Stroyan (1984) and many others listed in the references for these pages.

We also thank Nigel Gilligan for allowing us to reproduce his image, above. Note: Any images on pages that are not individually credited are copyright InfluentialPoints under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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).

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