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Genus Neotoxoptera

Onion aphids

On this page: Genus Neotoxoptera  Neotoxoptera formosana 

Genus Neotoxoptera [Macrosiphini]

These are medium-sized aphids which look rather like some Myzus  species. The adult viviparae may be winged or wingless. The siphunculi are swollen and the wing veins are dark-bordered..

There are 6 species of Neotoxoptera. Three species do not host alternate but spend their entire life cycle on onion (Alliaceae), Caryophyllaceae or Violaceae. They have no sexual stage in the life cycle but reproduce all year parthenogenetically. The other three species host alternate from Caprifoliaceae to generally unknown secondary hosts.


Neotoxoptera formosana (Onion aphid)

The apterae of Neotoxoptera formosana are shining magenta-red to dark reddish brown or almost black.. The body length of the aptera is 1.6-2.3 mm. Winged forms are very dark red to black with the wing veins heavily black bordered. The borders on the wing veins of Neotoxoptera formosana are of rather constant width along the lengths of the veins (cf. Neotoxoptera oliveri where the borders widen out at the base and apex of each vein).


Second image copyright fera,  all rights reserved

The onion aphid does not host alternate but spends it entire life cycle on onion (Allium), either on the leaves or on bulbs in store. There are no sexual forms, so the species reproduces parthenogenetically all year round. It is native to east and south-east Asia, but is invasive in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, North & South America, and north-west Europe.


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).

Useful weblinks 


  •  Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.