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Pemphigus protospirae

(Poplar polyspiral gall aphid)

On this page: Identification & Distribution 

Identification & Distribution:

In spring, Pemphigus protospirae form green, or green mottled with red, smooth galls formed by thickening, flattening and spiral twisting of the leaf petiole of Populus nigra on the petioles of the leaves of poplar. Pemphigus protospirae fundatrices have antennae about 0.2 × the length of the body and lack siphunculi.

All the second generation Pemphigus protospirae are winged and leave during late spring to early summer. The winged migrants are greyish-green and lightly covered with waxy powder. The antennae are 0.33 - 0.40 times the length of the body. The most proximal rhinarium on third antennal segment is distal to the tooth. The number of secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment is 10-14, on the fourth 2-5, on the fifth 2-4, and on the base of the sixth 2-8.

The winged migrants move to aquatic umbellifers (Apiaceae) as secondary hosts.


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).

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