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)



Pemphigus gairi

Poplar pouch gall aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution 

Identification & Distribution:

In spring Pemphigus gairi form yellowish or reddish pouch-shaped galls (see picture below) on or near the midrib of the leaves of poplar, mainly black poplar (Populus nigra).

Inside the gall the developing Pemphigus gairi fundatrix is covered with wax (first picture below). We removed the wax from the one in the second picture below to show distinguishing features. The fundatrix is green or greyish green and has no siphunculi. The 4-segmented antennae are about 0.12-0.15 times the length of the body.

The winged viviparae (see below) emerge from these galls in summer through an opening on the underside of the leaf. They have a black head and pterothorax, small siphunculi and a rather elongate greenish wax-dusted abdomen. The fused terminal segments of the rostrum are 0.07-0.10 mm long, usually less than 0.55 the second hind tarsal segment. The third antennal segment is shorter than the combined length of fourth and fifth antennal segments.

Pemphigus gairi apterae on secondary hosts are yellow-green with white wax wool.

This species host alternates between poplar and fool's parsley (Aethusa cynapium). In summer they live above ground on the secondary host, often in the inflorescences (flower-heads). Pemphigus gairi is distributed throughout Europe and into Asia and north Africa.


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