Printer Friendly

First report of Geoica utricularia (Hemiptera: Aphididae) population on parasitic broomrape Orobanche foetida.

Geoica utricularia (Passerini) is known as a species that alternates between galls on Pistacia and the roots of Gramineae, and occasionally Cyperaceae (Blackman & Eastop 1985). Its distribution has been recorded as Morocco, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and North America (Blackman & Eastop 1985). In 2009, we observed severe attacks of G. utriculariae on wheat and barley in Manouba and Cap-Bon regions in Northeast Tunisia. Previously, G. utriculariae had been captured in suction traps in the same region (Boukhris-Bouhachem et al. 2007).

Very few insects have been reported to feed on Orobanche (Orobanchaceae). The case of Phytomyza orobanchia Kalt. (Diptera: Agromyzidae) has been reported (Linke 1990; Klein & Kroschel 2002), and Zermane et al. (2001) found Smicronyx cyaneus Gyll. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Orobanche foetida Poir. in Tunisia. Holman (2009) reported Smynthurodes betae WestWood (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on 3 Orobanche species (O. aegyptiaca, O. crenata and O. variegata).


Populations of aphids were found on the subterranean parts, and feeding on spikes of two broomrape plants, Orobanche foetida, attached to faba bean (Vicia faba L.) in May 2010 in a field located at Ariana (36[degrees]47' 57'N, 10010'32'E). Samples of aphids were collected and prepared for microscopic examination in Canada balsam. They were identified using the Remaudiere & Seco Fernandez (1990) and Blackman & Eastop (2000) keys, and also submitted for confirmation to Jon H. Martin at the Natural History Museum in London, UK. Aphid specimens in the colony were white cream, lightly dusted with wax, and broadly oval (Fig. 1). The aphids were identified as G. utricularia (Fig. 2) (determination confirmed by J. H. Martin) and compared favorably with specimens in the museum collection from Morocco and elsewhere. Voucher specimens were deposited at the British museum.


To our knowledge, no associations of this aphid species have been reported previously on Orobanche foetida, so even if the species identification is suspect due to the unusual host range, it represents a host range expansion for the genus. Broomrape infestations are increasing in different regions of Tunisia (Kharrat et al. 2004). Heretofore, the association between G. utriculariae and Orobanche has not been reported, and it is quite curious because the aphids normally feed on Gramineae except when forming galls on Pistaca. A supplementary study will be conducted to determine if aphids can reduce seed production of Orobanche.


A new association between aphids (Aphididae) and Orobanche foetida was observed in Tunisia. The aphids were identified as Geoica utricularia (Passerini). The feeding of G. utricularia on Orobanche is illustrated.


Blackman, R. L., and Eastop, V. F. 2000. Aphids on the World's Crops: an Identification and Information Guide. Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK 475 pp.

Boukhris-Bouhachem, S., Souissi, R., Turpeau, E., Rouze-Jouan, J., Fahem, M., Ben Brahim, N., and

Hulle, M. 2007. Aphid (Hemiptera, Aphidoidea) diversity in Tunisia in relation to seed production. Ann. Soc. Entomol. France 43: 311-318.

Holman, J. 2009. Host Plant Catalog of Aphids, Palearctic Region. Academy of Science of Czech Republic. Springer, 1216 pp.

Kharrat, M., and Souissi, T. 2004. Research on Orobanche foetida and O. crenata in Tunisia, pp. 106-110 In R. Dahan and M. El-Mourid [eds.], Integrated Management of Orobanche in Food Legumes in the Near East and North Africa. Proc. Expert Consultation on IPM for Orobanche in Food Legume Systems Near East and North Africa, Rabat, Morocco. ICARDA/INRA/FAO, ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria.

Klein, O., and Kroschel, J. 2002. Biological control of Orobanche spp. with Phytomyza orobanchia, a review. Biocontrol 47(3): 245-277.

Linke, K.-H., Vorlaender, C., and Saxena, M. C. 1990. Occurrence and impact of Phytomyza orobanchia [Diptera: Agromyzidae] on Orobanche crenata [Orobanchaceae] in Syria. Biocontrol 35(4): 633-639.

Remaudiere, G., and Seco Fernandez, Ma. V. 1990. Claves para ayudar al reconocimiento de alados de pulgones trampeados en la region mediterranea (Hom. Aphidoidea). Universidad De Leon, Leon, 2V, 205 pp.

Zermane, N., Kroschel, J., Souissi, T., and Kharrat, M. 2001. First report of Smicronyx cyaneus Gyll. on Orobanche foetida Poiret: investigations in Tunisia. Haustorium (Parasitic Plants Newsletter), 39: 5-6 (Research Note).


(1) Plant Protection Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Research of Tunisia

(2) Animal and Forage Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Research of Tunisia

(3) Field Crop Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Research of Tunisia INRAT, Rue Hedi Karray, 2049, Tunisia
COPYRIGHT 2011 Florida Entomological Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Scientific Notes
Author:Boukhris-Bouhachem, Sonia; Youssef, S. Ben; Kharrat, M.
Publication:Florida Entomologist
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6MORO
Date:Jun 1, 2011
Previous Article:A new method for short-term rearing of citrus psyllids (Hemiptera: Pysllidae) and for collecting their honeydew excretions.
Next Article:First report of Chrysomya megacephala (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Northwestern Argentina.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |