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Baizongia pistaciae

Pistacia horn gall aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution  Other aphids on the same host 

Identification & Distribution

Baizongia pistaciae produces large, horn-shaped galls (see first picture below) on Pistacia trees. Adult apterae of Baizongia pistaciae are plump-bodied, whitish or pale yellow with brown head, prothorax, antennae, legs and anal region pale brown, producing wax in short threads. The body and appendages have sparse hairs, all with pointed apices. The body length of adult Baizongia pistaciae apterae is 1.6-2.3 mm.

First image above copyright Brian Eversham  all rights reserved.
Second image above copyright George Konstantinou  all rights reserved.

Alate Baizongia pistaciae, which develop in the gall from September to November (see second picture above), have a variably developed series of short dark abdominal cross-bars. The pterostigma has a dark central patch. The terminal process of the antenna is 0.35-0.45 times the length of the base of the last segment. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.6-0.9 times the length of the second segment of the hind tarsus. Dorsal hairs are all with pointed apices. Apterae on grass roots are whitish or pale yellow, and produce wax in threads.

Baizongia pistaciae host alternates from pistacia trees (Pistacia) to grass roots. Among the grasses colonised are species of Agrostis, Avena, Corynephorus, Dactylis, Festuca and Poa. Baizongia pistaciae colonies are attended by ants, especially Lasius flavus, and may overwinter in ants' nests. Host-alternating populations occur in the Mediterranean area, and in north-west India. Anholocyclic populations are found on grass roots in many parts of the world including Europe, north Africa, Kenya, India and Pakistan.

 

Other aphids on same host:

Primary hosts

Baizongia pistaciae has been recorded from at least 7 Pistacia species, but its presence on Pistachio (Pistacia vera) is unconfirmed. It has not been recorded from Pistacia in Britain.

Blackman & Eastop list 3 species of aphid  as feeding on Chios mastic (Pistacia lentiscus) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys.

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015)  lists 2 as occurring in Britain: Aploneura lentisci  and Forda marginata. 

Secondary hosts

Paul (1977)  found at least 16 aphid species recorded on grass roots in Britain: Anoecia corni,  Anoecia furcata (= A. nemoralis), Anoecia major, Anoecia (Paranoecia) pskovica Mordvilko, Anoecia vagans (= Anoecia willcocksi), Anoecia zirnitsi, Aploneura lentisci,  Baizongia pistaceae (=Pemphigus cornicularius), Forda formicaria,  Forda marginata,  Geioca setulosa, Geioca utricularia, Paracletus cimiciformis, Rhopalosiphum insertum,  Smynthurodes betae  and Tetroneura ulmi. 

Acknowledgements

We especially thank Brian Eversham  and George Konstantinou  for permission to reproduce their images, shown above.

We have made provisional identifications from high resolution photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity. In the great majority of cases, identifications have been confirmed by microscopic examination of preserved specimens. We have used the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994)  and Blackman & Eastop (2006)  supplemented with Blackman (1974) , Stroyan (1977) , Stroyan (1984) , Blackman & Eastop (1984) , Heie (1980-1995) , Dixon & Thieme (2007)  and Blackman (2010) . We fully acknowledge these authors as the source for the (summarized) taxonomic information we have presented. Any errors in identification or information are ours alone, and we would be very grateful for any corrections. For assistance on the terms used for aphid morphology we suggest the figure  provided by Blackman & Eastop (2006).

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