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Light green pine needle aphidOn this page: Identification & Distribution Biology & Ecology Other aphids on the same host Damage & Control
Identification & Distribution:Apterae of Eulachnus brevipilosus are spindle-shaped and slender with a body length of 1.4-2.2 mm. They are light green with numerous faint spots and no wax. The antennae are about 0.4-0.5 times body length - markedly longer than in the superficially similar Essigella. The legs are rather pale.
This first image shows an adult light green pine needle aphid on a pine needle. The second image shows a micrograph of Eulachnus brevipilosus in alcohol.
The name 'brevipilosus' indicates the aphid is short-haired. Thus the capitate hairs on the dorsal side of the hind tibia are no longer than the diameter of tibia at its midpoint (see image below). Also, the setae on the third antennal segment are no longer than the greatest diameter of that segment.
The light green pine needle aphid may be found feeding on needles on pines, especially on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and stone pine (Pinus mugo). It does not host alternate. According to Blackman & Eastop (1994) , sexual morphs have not been found and they overwinter as viviparae. However, Zondag (1983) reports (perhaps wrongly) that sexual forms occur in Europe. It occurs throughout Europe and parts of Asia, and has been introduced to North America and New Zealand.
Biology & Ecology:
Eulachnus brevipilosus are largely solitary and do not form colonies on the pine needles. One of the most notable features about this species is that the aphids are cryptophilic.
If they are disturbed, they run away and find a hiding place. The image above shows the typical hiding place between a needle pair and close to the needle sheath.
In New Zealand numbers peak in November and April. Several predators have been reported in New Zealand including the coccinellids Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella undecimpunctata, and the lacewings Depanacra binocula and Micromus tasmaniae.
Other aphids on same host:
Blackman & Eastop list about 170 species of aphids as feeding on pines worldwide, and provides formal identification keys for aphids on Pinus.
Damage and control
Probing and feeding by this species causes chlorotic spots and needles may fall prematurely. However, numbers are usually suppressed by the predators and fungal disease.