Biology, images, analysis, design...
Aphids Find them How to ID AphidBlog
"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important" (Sherlock Holmes)



Ovatus crataegarius

Hawthorn - mint aphid

Identification & Distribution 

Identification & Distribution:

Ovatus crataegarius is a yellow-green to apple-green aphid, sometimes mottled with darker green markings. The antennae are curved about 1.2-1.5 times the length of the body. The pale siphunculi are 1.7-2.6 times as long as the tongue-shaped cauda. The body length of apterae ranges from 1.5-2.0 mm.

Fundatrices and apterae on hawthorn are morphologically indistinguishable from Ovatus insitus, a sibling species that host alternates from hawthorn to gipsywort (Lycopus europaeus). However the spring migrant winged forms of Ovatus insitus have more rhinaria (60-83) on the antennae than those Ovatus crataegarius (22-49). Their oviparae also have more pseudosensoria on their hind tibiae than those of Ovatus crataegarius (not easy to see in photos!).

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Ovatus crataegarius : wingless, and winged.


Micrographs of clarified mounts  by permission of Roger Blackman, copyright AWP  all rights reserved.

The hawthorn - mint aphid host alternates from hawthorn and apple (Rosaceae) to mint (Mentha, Lamiaceae) where it can reach pest status. In warmer climates Ovatus crataegarius may overwinter viviparously near the ground.


Our particular thanks to Roger Blackman for images of his clarified slide mounts.

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