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Genus Pachypappa

Poplar-spruce aphids

On this page: Pachypappa   Pachypappa tremulae 

Pachypappa [Pemphigini]

Pachypappa are medium-sized aphids with large fundatrices. The fundatrices have no wax glands. The alate spring migrants have forewings with a once-branched medial vein.

About 13 species which host alternates between Populus (poplar) species and the roots of Picea (spruce).


Pachypappa tremulae (Aspen-spruce aphid)

In springtime the fundatrices of Pachypappa tremulae (not pictured) may be found on the twigs of aspen (Populus tremula. They are unusually large (body length 5.0-6.6 mm) and are almost globular. They are a dirty reddish or yellowish brown colour, but appear silvery as they are covered with long fine hairs. They have no siphuncular pores and do not secrete any wax. The offspring of the fundatrix move on to the new shoots and form a rosette-like leaf-nest (see first picture below) formed by bending of the leaf petioles and stunting the shoot's growth.


Guest images copyright Volker Fäßler,  all rights reserved

The aphids in the leaf nest all develop to winged individuals (see second picture above) which are orange or reddish brown, covered in wax and with very small siphuncular pores. These migrate in June to form colonies on the roots of spruce (Picea abies). The apterae on spruce are pale yellowish white with tufts of wax posteriorly. Sexual forms then return to aspen in autumn. The species is widely distributed in the northern palaearctic, east to China and Japan.

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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).

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.