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Periphyllus hirticornis

Green maple periphyllus aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution  Biology & Ecology  Other aphids on the same host  Damage & Control 

Identification & Distribution:

Periphyllus hirticonis apterae are light green with red eyes and no dark markings. The antennae are 0.7 times the body length, and have a terminal process that is 5 times as long as the last antennal segment. The two hairs on the base of antennal segment 6 are very unequal in length with the longer more than 4 times as long as the shorter. Some dorsal hairs have forked apices. The siphunculi are pale, longer than the second hind tarsal segment and strongly flared at the apex. The cauda is knobbed and has 6-8 hairs. The body length is 2-3 mm. Periphyllus hirticornis alates have variably developed marginal plates, no dorsal cross bands, but brownish siphunculi and cauda.

The first picture above shows an aptera of the green maple periphyllus aphid. The second picture shows a developing colony. The green maple periphyllus aphid lives on the undersides of young leaves, leaf petioles and developing seeds of field maple (Acer campestre). Stroyan (1977)  notes the species may be locally common but is little recorded.


Biology & Ecology

The eggs hatch early in spring and the fundatrices give birth to viviparous females. Colonies are often attended by ants.

Nymphs produced in late spring aestivate rather than develop immediately, although we have found normal nymphs being produced in late June (see picture above). Aestivating nymphs are light green with leaf-like marginal hairs and red eyes.

In the autumn Periphyllus hirticonis produce oviparous females and alate males. After mating, the oviparae lay their eggs on the stems of field maples.


Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list 22 species of aphid  as feeding on field maple (Acer campestre) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys.

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015)  lists 17 as occurring in Britain: Aphis craccivora,  Aphis fabae,  Aulacorthum solani,  Drepanosiphum acerinum,  Drepanosiphum aceris,  Drepanosiphum dixoni, Drepanosiphum platanoidis,  Mimeuria ulmiphila,  Periphyllus acericola,  Periphyllus aceris,  Periphyllus californiensis,  Periphyllus hirticornis, Periphyllus minutus, Periphyllus obscurus,  Periphyllus testudinaceus,  Stomaphis graffii and Stomaphis longirostris.


Damage and control

Since field maple is not grown for wood, the green maple periphyllus aphid is seldom considered a pest. However in gardens and urban streets it can cause aesthetic damage because of honeydew production (Pons et al., 2003 )


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 


  •  Pons, X. et al. (2003). Pests of ornamental plants in streets and public gardens of Lleida (Spain). Mitt. Biol. Bundesanst. Land- Forstwirtsch. 394. Full text