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Genus Chaetosiphon

Hairy rose aphid

On this page: Chaetosiphon   Chaetosiphon fragaefolii  Chaetosiphon tetrarhodum 

Chaetosiphon [Macrosiphini]

Chaetosiphon aphids are rather small, pale yellow to green, and spindle-shaped. The head has well developed antennal tubercles and a fairly large median tubercle. The antennal terminal process is usually quite long. The dorsal hairs of apterae are capitate and usually arise from tubercles. The rostrum is rather long. Their dorsal cuticle is densely covered with small warts. Their siphunculi are pale and cylindrical. The cauda is elongate triangular and much shorter than the siphunculi. Alates have a dark head and thorax, much shorter non-capitate hairs, a large dark dorsal abdominal patch and dark wing veins.

There are 17 Chaetosiphon species worldwide living on the family Rosaceae. They do not host alternate and are not attended by ants. The males may be winged or wingless.


Chaetosiphon fragaefolii (Strawberry aphid)

Adult apterae of Chaetosiphon fragaefolii (see first picture below) are translucent yellowish white to pale greenish yellow. The head has spicules, and the antennae are 0.9-1.1 times the body length. The third antennal segment has 2-7 thick capitate hairs. The body is covered with conspicuous capitate hairs. The siphunculi are long and cylindrical and 2.2-3.3 times longer than the rather short cauda. The body length of Chaetosiphon fragaefolii apterae is only 0.9-1.8 mm.


The alate (see second picture above) has the head and thoracic lobes black and the abdomen pale greenish white with a brown-black dorsal patch. The alate body length is 1.3-1.8 mm.

Chaetosiphon fragaefolii feeds on strawberry (Fragaria spp.) especially the cultivated varieties. In Europe it is rarely found on wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca), but in America it is found on some wild species such as the Chilean strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis). Chaetosiphon fragaefolii usually occurs on new shoots, in the crown and close to the veins on the undersides of leaflets. The species mainly overwinters as parthenogenetic forms, although sexual forms have been produced in the laboratory.

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Chaetosiphon tetrarhodum (Hairy rose aphid)

Chaetosiphon tetrarhodum adult apterae (see first picture below) are pale green to yellow-green or occasionally reddish. The head is rather smooth with few if any spicules. The antennae are short, only 0.6-0.8 times the body length. The dorsal cuticle is densely covered with flat warts giving it a wrinkled appearance. Each abdominal segment bear 5 pairs of capitate hairs. The siphunculi are 1.1 to 2.5 times longer than the cauda. The body length of Chaetosiphon tetrarhodum is 0.7-2.1 mm with the smallest individuals in mid-summer.


Winged viviparae (see second picture above) have a dark head and thorax, a black central patch on the abdomen and dark wing veins. Oviparae are dark olive-green and the apterous males are small and dark.

Chaetosiphon tetrarhodum is found on various species of roses especially the Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa). In spring they can be found on the shoot tips, young leaves and developing flower. Later in the year they can be found singly or in small groups on the undersides of mature leaves. Sexual forms occur in autumn. The distribution of Chaetosiphon tetrarhodum is worldwide.

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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 sp 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).