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Genus Tinocallis

Elm aphids

On this page: Genus Tinocallis  Tinocallis nevskyi  Tinocallis takachihoensis 

Genus Tinocallis [Panaphidini]

Tinocallis aphids are mostly small species. All viviparae are winged and usually have paired spinal and marginal tubercular processes. Some species have conspicuous black markings on dorsal body and/or on the forewings. The antennae are as long as or shorter than the body. The siphunculi are stump shaped and the cauda is knobbed.

There are about 18 species, usually associated with elms (Ulmaceae), although species have also been described from Lythraceae and other families. They have a sexual stage in the life cycle, but do not host alternate and are not attended by ants.


Tinocallis nevskyi (Pale Japanese elm aphid)

Tinocallis nevskyi alates are pale yellow, with pale or dusky antennae and legs (see pictures below). In autumn they have pigmentation on the head, thorax and and siphunculi and frequently also on the tips of their marginal tubercles.


The various body processes of Tinocallis nevskyi can be seen by careful examination of the pictures showing the winged adults. The pronotum has two pairs of pale finger-like spinal processes. The mesonotum has one pair of large conical processes. The abdomen has spinal processes on tergites 1 and 2, and lower wart-like tubercles on the other tergites and marginal tubercles. Their antennae are 0.76-0.96 times the body length. The wings are hyaline and the forewing veins are not bordered with fuscous. Tinocallis nevskyi siphunculi are short. The body length is 1.4-2.1 mm.

The pale Japanese elm aphid feeds on elm (Ulmus. This species originated in central and south-west Asia, but has spread over much of Europe. In some European countries Tinocallis nevskyi is now among the most common aphid species.

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Tinocallis takachihoensis (Japanese elm aphid)

  The winged viviparae of Tinocallis takachihoensis (see first picture below) are pale yellow-green with a shiny black head and thorax. There are black markings on the wings, and a black patch where the hind femur meets the hind tibia. The body length of Tinocallis takachihoensis alates is 1.8-2.0 mm. The immatures (see second picture below) are pale yellow green with numerous tubercles topped with capitate hairs.


The pattern of black markings on Tinocallis takachihoensis wings (see first picure above) is diagnostic. The pronotum has two pairs of paired dorsal processes which can be seen in lateral view (above). The posterior pair is large and dark, whilst the anterior pair (hard to see) is small and pale. There are also two pairs of pale paired dorsal processes on the abdominal dorsum. The head bears no dorsal processes (this distinguishes Tinocallis takachihoensis from Tinocallis ulmiparvifoliae), and there are no brown markings on the abdominal dorsum (which distinguishes Tinocallis takachihoensis from Tinocallis platani).

The Japanese elm aphid feeds on elm (Ulmus spp) and some other genera in Japan, China and eastern Siberia. Tinocallis takachihoensis has also been introduced to Europe (France, Germany, England, Netherlands, Sicily, Andorra) and the USA. It now appears be established in most of these countries.

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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 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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