Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Temporarily including Anoeciidae, Callaphididae, Chaitophoridae, Hormaphididae, Lachnidae, Mindaridae, Phloeomyzidae, Thelaxidae.

Aphids, Greenfly, Blackfly, Plant Lice.

Salient features of adults. Terrestrial.

Phytophagous (tapping phloem, often producing honeydew and attracting ants). Tiny to small; represented by ‘normal’ insects only; fliers, or non-fliers; conspicuously stilt-legged to not stilt-legged. Head plus thorax of apterae not exceeding that of the abdomen. Rostrum ostensibly originating between the front legs; not separated from the prosternum by a gula. Antennae longer than the head, readily visible from above; (1–)4–6 segmented. Antennae of apterae 4–6 segmented. Antennae non-aristate. Fore-wings well developed to vestigial or absent; in the resting insect when macropterous, sloping roof-like over the abdomen; more or less uniform in texture; when present, with transparent cells; when present, without costal fracture and cuneus; without a clavus; with four oblique veins. Tarsi usually 2 segmented (the basal segment sometimes reduced); two-clawed. The abdomen equipped with a pair of secretory ‘cornicles’ (siphunculi) towards the rear.

When present, fore- and hind-wings at least partly clear and of equal texture, but the fore-wings larger; all the fore-wing longitudinal veins originating from a single straight one close to the front edge..

Taxonomy. Suborder Homoptera. Sternorrhyncha. Aphidoidea.

British representation. About 530 species in Britain; genera about 60. Cinara (etc., Lachnidae); Chaitophorus, Periphyllus (etc., (Chaitophoridae); Myzocallis (etc., Callaphididae); Callipterinella, Subsaltusaphis (etc., Phyllaphidinae); Aphis, Aulacorthum, Brachycaudus, Dactynotus, Dysaphis, Macrosiphoniella, Macrosyphum, Myzus (etc., etc., Aphididae s. str.); Anoecia, Glyphina (etc., Thelaxidae); Hormaphis (Hormaphididae). E.g., Eucallipterus tiliae (Callaphididae: Lime-tree aphis); Lachnus roboris (Lachnidae: Clouded-winged Oak-aphis).

Comments. Mostly imbibing from phloem of vascular plants, locating it with such precision as to have been invaluable to plant physiologists studying phloem transport. Including numerous serious agricultural and horticultural pests, responsible for damaging plants directly and for transmitting viruses.

Illustrations. • Lachnus roboris (Clouded-winged Oak Aphis: B. Ent. 576). • Lachnus roboris (detail: B. Ent. 576). • Lachnus roboris (dissections: B. Ent. 576). • Lachnus roboris (legend+text: B. Ent. 576). • Lachnus roboris (text: B. Ent. 576, cont.). • Eucallipterus tiliae (Lime-tree Aphis: B. Ent. 577). • Eucallipterus tiliae (detail: B. Ent. 577). • Eucallipterus tiliae (dissections: B. Ent. 577). • Eucallipterus tiliae (legend+text: B. Ent. 577). • Eucallipterus tiliae (text: B. Ent. 577, cont.).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.