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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae


Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae

Dark-legged euphorbia aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae are green or less frequently brown. The front of the head is black, and in most of Europe they have mainly black appendages, but in warmer climates the appendages may be brown or brownish yellow (see below re. ssp. propinquum). The first tarsal segments have 5-7 hairs (cf. other Acyrthosiphon spp. on Euphorbia, which have 3 hairs on each first tarsal segment). The black siphunculi are long, thin and outwardly curving; they have no subapical polygonal reticulation, and no trace of swelling or constriction before the rather well-developed flange (cf. Macrosiphum euphorbiae, Macrosiphum euphorbiellum, and other Macrosiphum spp. on Euphorbia, which all have a zone of subapical polygonal reticulation on their siphunculi). The pale greenish-brown cauda is long and pointed. The body length of adult Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae apterae is 2.4-3.4 mm.

All images above copyright Marko Šćiban, all rights reserved.

The alate Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae has similar coloration to the aptera, presumably with green and brown forms, apart from the thorax which is brown. The pictures below show the aphids on their host plant, a Euphorbia sp. One or two of the brown forms are visible on the plants.

Both images above copyright Marko Šćiban, all rights reserved.

There are two subspecies:

  • Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae ssp. propinquum. This has the front of the head pale or dusky, and the antennae, tibiae and siphunculi mainly pale with only the apices dark. Blackman comments that this form may not be a true subspecies but merely an effect of the environment.
  • Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae ssp. turkestanicum, which has been recorded from several Euphorbia (Euphorbia esula ssp. tommasiniana, Euphorbia ferganensis, Euphorbia lamprocarpa) in Central Asia.

Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae feeds only on Euphorbia species - mainly on the upper sides of the upper leaves. Sexual forms develop in autumn with alate males. It is found in Europe (but not apparently in the UK), the Middle East, Central Asia and China. The dark-legged euphorbia aphid was recorded in Serbia for the first time by Vučetić et al. (2013), who sampled alate aphids using yellow water traps placed in seed potato fields. The observations reported here by Marko Sciban appear to represent the first on-host record of the species in Serbia. Although not new to Turkey, it was first reported from Kayseri Province in Turkey by Ozdemir (2020).


Other aphids on the same host

Acyrthosiphon cyparissiae and its subspecies occur on 14 species of Euphorbia (Euphorbia amygdaloides, Euphorbia boisseriani, Euphorbia cyparissias, Euphorbia esula, Euphorbia esula ssp. tommasiniana, Euphorbia ferganenis, Euphorbia helioscopia, Euphorbia iberica, Euphorbia jaxartica, Euphorbia lamprocarpa, Euphorbia lucida, Euphorbia milii, Euphorbia peplus, Euphorbia seguieriana).


We are extremely grateful to Marko Šćiban (HabitProt) for the pictures shown above.

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


  • Ozdemir, I. (2020). Some new records on aphid (Hemiptera, Aphididae) fauna of Turkey and aphid host plant interactions. J. Entom. Res. Soc. 22(2), 191-201. Full text

  • Vučetić, A. et al. (2013). Several new and one invasive aphid species (Aphididae, Hemiptera) caught by yellow water traps in Serbia. Phytoparasitica 42(1). Full text