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Hyalopterus pruni

Hyalopterus pruni
Photo Information
Copyright: Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-05
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konika Minolta Dynax 7D, Minolta AF 100 Macro & Kenko tube
Exposure: f/18.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-09 0:24
Viewed: 5395
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Better known backyard inhabitants:

When you have a plum tree, chances are that you will have an infestation with the Mealy plum aphid (Sternorrhyncha; Aphididae; Aphidinae; Hyalopterus pruni (Geoffroy); Mehlige Pflaumenlaus). As was the case in my yard, the number of aphids increased impressively , the animals covered the underside of leaves completely. Their sucking action causes leaves to arrest growth. The aphid species might even transmit a plum pox virus to the plant, causing fruit to fall off. But at the end of July all the aphids are gone, the winged forms fly off and infest a second host, Reed (Phragmites australis) and other wetland grasses. Most interesting, on Reeds the species exhibits a color polymorphism (reddish or green). The adaptive significance of the phenomenon is not understood.

ID: The excellent key in Stresemann, 2005 (Exkursionsfauna von Deutschland Vol. 2. Elsevier, München, Germany) yields the 1.5 mm long species. The mediterranean species has now a world wide distribution and and attacks Plums, Abricots and other Prunus trees. The mealy appearance is due to a protective wax secretion.

Post-processing: I had to add a missing leaf tip to the left in PS by pruning with the "Stamp" function. Other PP as usual, as much as possible while still in in RAW format.

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2009-01-09 0:58]

Hi Dietrich,
Very good documentation of these aphids, so many gathered here. Flash has reduced the contrast and colors a bit, could have controlled the light or better taken with ambient light. tfs.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-01-09 6:35]

Hello Dietrich,
I looks like you have had a shortage of ladybirds and syrphid flies in you backyard!
This is a fine capture of an intense gathering of aphids accompanied by an interesting and informative note. Our plumb aphids are 'milked' and probably transfered, by black ants.
Thanks for sharing this fine image,
Best regards,

Lebende Blätter - äääähhhhh - irgendwie nicht so ganz meine große Liebe ;-(
Soooo viele aneinander, wow - das ist beeindruckend und Du hast es erstklassig eingefangen. Bin aber froh, diese Kerlchen nicht in meinem Garten vorzufinden ;-)
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-01-10 7:31]

Lieber Dieter,
Diese Bild hat zuerst meinen Farbensinn angesprochen. Liebe so feine blau und grau-grüne Töne! Näher gesehen war da natürlich eine Ueberraschung..das krabbelt ja von überall her!
Wirklich interessant also, noch dazu, ganz speziell, wenn man deine Erklärungen dazu liest.
Herzlichen Dank und ein schönes Wochenende

Hi Dietrich,

An excellent image, good detail, sharpness and exposure.

Wow, now that's what I call an infestation! I haven't observed that species here, but I have a Wild Plum tree in my yard, so I'll watch for them, and also have a colony of Phragmites within 1/4 mile, so their alternate host is nearby too.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2009-01-10 14:57]

Wow! That's incredible!!
I only realised there were loads of aphids after looking for 10 seconds or so :-)))
Excellent detail.
Great DOF.

Very well done,

Calibration Check