Morphological separation of host adapted taxa within the Hyalopterus pruni complex (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
Morphometric variation of individuals in field collected samples of the Hyalopterus pruni complex from various Prunus species and regions of Greece was examined, to determine whether this variation is correlated with the host-trees from which the aphids originated. Morphometric data for 13 parameters of aphids from 74 field samples (760 adult apterae) were analysed by canonical variates analysis (CVA). Each sample was collected from a different tree and consisted of individuals from 2-3 neighbouring leaves from the same branch. Each field sample was used as a grouping factor in the CVA. The analysis produced three clusters corresponding to the taxa indicated by previous studies using allozyme markers (i.e., Hyalopterus pruni on apricot, black-thorn, plum and cherry, H. amygdali A on almond and H. amygdali B on peach). The separation was independent on the geographical origin of the samples. However, host associations within the complex were not absolute, and in particular the samples from apricot appeared to include both H. pruni and H. amygdali A. In contrast to previous views, the present study showed that the taxa have their own distinct morphology. Lastly, discriminant functions for separating the adult apterae of the taxa are given.
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