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Tinocallis takachihoensis

Japanese elm aphid

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

Identification & Distribution:

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 pattern of black markings on the wings (see picture below and micrograph below that) is diagnostic. The pronotum and mesonotum each bear a pair of dorsal processes which can be seen in lateral view (first picture above) and in dorsal view (second picture below). The pair on the pronotum are small and pale, whilst the pair on the mesonotum are large and dark. There are also two pairs of paired dorsal processes on the abdominal dorsum. The head bears no dorsal processes (cf. Tinocallis ulmiparvifoliae which has three pairs of dorsal processes on the head), and there are no brown markings on the abdominal dorsum (cf. Tinocallis platani which has extensive dark dorsal makings on the abdomen). The body length of Tinocallis takachihoensis alates is 1.8-2.0 mm.

The immatures are pale yellow green with numerous tubercles topped with capitate hairs. They form large colonies with the alates on the undersides of the leaves (see second picture below).

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.


Biology & Ecology:

In Britain Tinocallis takachihoensis has been regularly found on imported Bonsai plants (Ulmus and Zelkova spp.) (Roques & Auger-Rozenberg, 2006  ). It was first recorded in England in 'the wild' by Döring (2007, 2008)   who collected it on whych elm (Ulmus glabra) in Berkshire. Tinocallis takachihoensis has also been recorded in 2012 from Lincoln, UK by Mick Talbot. 

We first confirmed the presence of Tinocallis takachihoensis in East Sussex in July 2010 on elm trees at Friston Forest, although immatures we found there in 2007 were also probably of this species.

Then in 2014 we found them in large numbers on elm in several locations in East Sussex (Middle Farm, West Dean, Ringmer) and West Sussex (Stanmer). It remains unclear how Tinocallis takachihoensis is overwintering in much of Europe, but it seems likely that they produce males and oviparae in autumn and overwinter as eggs. Patti & Barbagallo (1998)  report alate males and oviparae in Sicily from mid-October. Piron (2013)  suggests that with climate change in Western Europe the climate may be similar enough to Japan to enable Tinocallis takachihoensis to survive milder winters (parthenogenetically ?) even with occasional severe frosts.

Image by Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium (Oenopia conglobata Uploaded by Jacopo Werther) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons. 

There are few observations on the natural enemies of Tinocallis species. Lumbierres et al. (2005)  have recorded the coccinellid Oenopia conglobata (see picture above) as a predator of Tinocallis takachihoensis in Lieida, in the Iberian Peninsula.


Other aphids on same host:

Blackman & Eastop list about 75 species of aphids  as feeding on elms worldwide, and provides formal identification keys for aphids on Ulmus.


Special thanks to Roger Blackman for correcting our original erroneous description of the dorsal processes.

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) , 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 


  •  Döring, T.F. (2007). Colonies of the Asian elm aphid Tinocallis takachihoensis Higuchi (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in Britain. The Entomologist's record and Journal of Variation 119(5), 226-227.  Full text 

  •  Döring, T.F. (2008). Further sightings of the Asian elm aphid Tinocallis takachihoensis Higuchi (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in Britain. The Entomologist's record and Journal of Variation 120, 32.

  •  Lumbierres, B. et al. (2005). Parasites and predators of aphids associated with public green areas of Lieida (NE Iberian Peninsula). Adv. Hort. Sci. 19(2), 69-75. Full text 

  •  Patti, I. & Barbagallo, S. (1998). Aphids of genus Tinocallis infesting elms in Italy (Homoptera, Aphididae). Informatore Fitopatologico 48(12), 21-30. Abstract 

  •  Piron, P.G.M. (2013). Appearance of Tinocallis takachihoensis (Homoptera: Aphididae) in The Netherlands. Entomologische Berichten 73(6), 251-252. Full text 

  •  Roques, A. & Auger-Rozenberg, M.-A. (2006). Tentative analysis of the interceptions of non-indigenous organisms in Europe during 1995-2004. Bulletin OEPP 36, 490-496. Full text