Muscaphis escherichi (Börner, 1939),

Albrecht, Anders Christian, 2015, Identification guide to Nordic aphids associated with mosses, horsetails and ferns (Bryophyta, Equisetophyta, Polypodiophyta) (Insecta, Hemiptera, Aphidoidea), European Journal of Taxonomy 145, pp. 1-55: 16

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Muscaphis escherichi (Börner, 1939)


Muscaphis escherichi (Börner, 1939) 

Fig. 13View Fig


Apterae 0.7–1 mm, shiny red-brown, ochreous or olive brown. Legs and antennae slightly paler. Dorsum reticulate, abdominal mid-dorsum fairly smooth, siphunculi squamose. Siphunculi narrowly conical, slightly dorsoventrally flattened, tapering towards a rounded apex; aperture small, subapical. PT/B = 0.6–1.16; RIV+V/HT2 = 1.2–1.5. Shady broad-leaved, mixed and coniferous forests, mesotrophic meadows. Can be found all year. Monoecious. Not ant-attended.

Recorded hosts

Brachytheciaceae  : Sciuro-hypnum oedipodium*, Cirriphyllum piliferum  *, Kindbergia praelonga  (syn. Eurhynchium praelongum  ), Pseudoscleropodium purum  ; Bryaceae  : Pohlia  , Rhodobryum roseum  *; Dicranaceae  : Dicranum  ; Hylocomiaceae  : Pleurozium schreberi  *, Rhytidiadelphus loreus  , R. squarrosus  ; Hypnaceae  : Calliergonella cuspidata  , Hypnum cupressiforme  , Ptilium crista-castrensis  ; Mniaceae  : Mnium hornum  ; Plagiomniaceae  : Plagiomnium affine  *, P. rostratum  , P. undulatum  ; Plagiotheciaceae  : Plagiothecium laetum  (see below).


D F N S.


The question of whether the moss-feeding M. escherichi  represents the secondary host generations of the Sorbus  -feeding M. drepanosiphoides (Börner, 1939)  , which would make the two taxa synonymous ( Blackman & Eastop 2014), has not yet been definitely resolved, and is awaiting results from molecular analyses. Until then, I prefer to continue regarding the two taxa as separate species, because they are morphologically distinctive. Among other characteristics are the siphunculi, which are generally quite constant throughout the parthenogenetic morphs. In the Sorbus  -feeding fundatrix and alatae they are long, black and truncate, with a large terminal aperture. The transfer experiments of M. drepanosiphoides  from Sorbus  to Plagiothecium laetum  performed by Stekolshchikov & Shaposhnikov (1993) would, however, give support for the synonymy.