Identification & Distribution:
Adult apterae of Forda formicaria vary in colour from off-white to dull yellow to various shades of dark green or bluish-green. The primary rhinarium on the base of antennal segment 5 is very large, transversely long and extending around the segment. It is 4-5 times larger than the primary rhinarium on antennal segment 4 (this distinguishes it from most other Forda spp. which have the primary rhinarium on the base of antennal segment 5 almost circular and less than 2.5 times larger than that on antennal segment 4). The body length of Forda formicaria is 2-3 mm.
Alates migrating from the primary host have a black head and thorax and a green-yellow abdomen.
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In the Mediterranean region and south-west Asia, Forda formicaria forms half-moon-shaped galls on its primary host Pistacia spp. (pistachio). Alates leave the galls in September to November, and move to the roots of numerous grasses and cereals where they found colonies. In many other parts of the world (northern Europe, parts of Asia and North America), host alternation (and sexual reproduction) have been lost, and they live on the roots of grasses all year round. Forda formicaria are always attended by ants, and often live within ants' nests.
Other aphids on same host:
found at least 16 other aphid species recorded on grass roots in Britain:
(= A. nemoralis
Anoecia (Paranoecia) pskovica Mordvilko,
(= Anoecia willcocksi
- Paul, R.G. (1977). Aspects of the biology and taxonomy of British myrmecophilous root aphids. PhD thesis. Imperial College, London. Full text