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Toxoptera aurantii (=Aphis aurantii)

Camellia aphid, Black citrus aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution 

Identification & Distribution:

Toxoptera aurantii apterae are oval, shiny black, brownish-black or reddish brown in colour with rather short black-and-white banded antennae. The cauda and siphunculi are black, and the siphunculi are less than 1.5 times the length of the cauda. The cauda usually has less than 20 hairs (distinguishes from Toxoptera citricidus). A stridulatory apparatus is present. The body length of Toxoptera aurantii apterae is about 2 mm long.

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Toxoptera aurantii : wingless, and winged.

Micrograph of clarified mounted  aptera (first image) courtesy PaDIL.  Copyright Simon Hinkley & Ken Walker (Museum Victoria) under Commons Attribution 3.0 Australian License.  Alate micrograph (second image) courtesy Favret, C. & G.L. Miller, AphID.  Identification Technology Program, CPHST, PPQ, APHIS, USDA; Fort Collins, CO.

The black citrus aphid is found on the underside of leaves of Citrus, as well as Tea (Camellia), coffee (Coffea) and mango (Mangifera). Infestation in spring can be very harmful to citrus crops. In temperate countries Toxoptera aurantii is a pest of ornamental Camellia bushes. Adults stridulate by rubbing tibial spines on striae of the abdomen. The distribution is now cosmopolitan.


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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